Gympie Hospital has seen an increase in demand this year.
Gympie Hospital has seen an increase in demand this year. Josh Preston

Gympie Hospital hits capacity, authorities issue assurances

CLOSURE of the Gympie Private Hospital had only "minimal impact” on available beds at Gympie Hospital though activity at the hospital had increased, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service COO Karlyn Chettleburgh said yesterday.

Her comments came after reports patients were unable to be given a bed on Thursday because the hospital was at capacity, and followed a week during which - at one stage - every public hospital in the southeast, except the Queensland Children's Hospital, was at capacity.

The State Government was forced to spend $3 million on beds in private hospitals on Tuesday night after 10 public hospitals in southeast Queensland reached capacity.

"Gympie is a very busy regional hospital and, like other Queensland hospitals has seen an increase in patients,” Mr Chettleburgh said.

"For example, in February 2019 there was an eight per cent increase in emergency department presentations compared to February 2018. Despite this, the median wait time for treatment was just 16 minutes.

"In addition, we are increasing the number of elective surgery procedures performed at Gympie Hospital to enhance the services available to locals.

"While there has been an increase in activity at Gympie Hospital, we are managing this increase in demand and will continue to provide quality care to locals.

"As Gympie Private Hospital was an elective surgery facility only and did not have an ED, its recent closure has had minimal impact on the Gympie Hospital.”