ALARMED: Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle and Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Ros Bates visited Ipswich Hospital on Thursday.
ALARMED: Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle and Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Ros Bates visited Ipswich Hospital on Thursday. Lachlan McIvor

Shadow Health Minister: Ipswich Hospital in 'crisis'

IPSWICH Hospital is in the midst of a "crisis” according to the Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services.

On a visit to the hospital yesterday, Ros Bates MP said she had severe concerns for a "gridlocked” emergency department and the government needed to provide better facilities to service a rapidly increasing local population.

West Moreton has the highest relative projected population growth in Queensland with a predicted doubling to 570,000 people between 2011 and 2036.

"Ambulance ramping is currently 27%, that's an increase from last year of 12%,” she said.

"Only 51% of the emergency department patients are being seen in the clinically recommended time frame. That's the worst in Queensland.

"This is a hospital in crisis.”

Ms Bates said the $124.4 million redevelopment of the hospital that will start next year would not provide adequate bedding for the number of incoming patients expected.

Stage 1A of the redevelopment will include a new mental health unit, an MRI suite to grow clinical capacity, an integrated community health care centre and outpatient facility.

The 50-bed mental health building will replace an ageing facility and create an additional six beds.

The Ipswich Hospital's capacity at June 2017 was 490 and projected requirements for 2021/22 will be 534 according to a preliminary business case for the Ipswich Health Precinct published by Queensland Health last year.

The report stated that the projected population growth does not align with the location of current hospital capacity.

"Six new beds is effectively all they're putting in,” Ms Bates said.

"This hospital should have had an extra 100 beds built which should have started two years ago, so in four years time you've got the beds to deal with the (demand).”

West Moreton Health emergency departments treated an additional 4000 people, of a total of 85,550, in 2018 compared to the previous year.

"West Moreton Health is working on a proposal to increase beds at Ipswich Hospital to meet this unprecedented demand in the short term,” executive director Melinda Parcell said.

"The long term plans are firmly in place with government approving the enabling stage of the master plan as well as approval to commence planning for a major new state-of-the-art hospital building to meet the health care needs of the community into the future.

"The enabling stage will make way for the new hospital building.”

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the first stage of the hospital's redevelopment will prepare the way for future expansions.

"We've also hired over 341 more nurses and midwives and 102 doctors at Ipswich Hospital since being elected,” he said.

"Paramedics, emergency department doctors and nurses at Ipswich Hospital are treating more patients than ever before.

"I'm sick and tired of Ros Bates and the LNP talking down our hospitals and insulting the hard-working healthcare staff that save lives every day.”



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