Healthj bosses have denied claims Gympie Hospital is failing to treat local patients.
Healthj bosses have denied claims Gympie Hospital is failing to treat local patients. Josh Preston

Health bosses deny claims about Gympie Hospital

CLAIMS Gympie Hospital is failing to treat locals and forcing them to seek help elsewhere have been shot down Queensland Health.

Media reports this week revealed more than 2000 patients were transferred from the region to other hospitals between May 2018 and April this year.

Most of these were reportedly being sent to the Sunshine Coast for treatment.

Gympie MP Tony Perrett said he had a number of concerns about the system, including patients being discharged "at awkward hours” when family or friends were unavailable to help them get back home.

Police and ambulance crews arrived at a private residence on Milton St, Mackay, after a man in is 20s was allegedly stabbed by a teenager.  Generic
Ambulance. Zizi Averill

He said some patients had been left stranded after being sent outside the region for treatment.

However, Sunshine Coast Health and Hospital Service chief operating officer Karlyn Chettleburgh said any claim the majority of Gympie region patients could not be treated at its hospital was "not true”.

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"In 2018-19, 749 elective surgeries were performed at Gympie Hospital and in addition, 205 emergency surgeries,” she said. "During the same period, 30,669 people attended Gympie Hospital's emergency department.

"It is true that not every medical/health service is available in every hospital in Queensland.

Tour of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH).Exterior of the building.
Sunshine Coast University Hospital. Warren Lynam

"At times, patients who require specialised treatment will be transferred to the hospital that is most appropriate for their healthcare needs.

"The expansion of services at Sunshine Coast University Hospital has meant fewer Gympie residents have had to travel to Brisbane for care.”

Ms Chettleburgh said Mr Perrett had raised his concerns over discharge times with the SCHHS.

"We have since implemented procedures to ensure patients in this situation are always returned home safely,” Ms Chettleburgh said.

Hospital at centre of ramping fight

THE State Government has been attacked over a state-wide increase in hospital ramping over the past 18 months, including an 8 percentage point increase in Gympie.

Since the November 2017 election, the number of Gympie patients waiting more than 30 minutes to be admitted to emergency care and transferred from an ambulance stretcher jumped from 10 per cent to 18 per cent. The state's ramping figures were up from 20 per cent to 25 per cent.

Opposition leader Deb Frecklington said it was a clear sign Labor had "failed to deliver” on a promise to deliver better health care.

Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington, Parliament House, Brisbane. Photographer: Liam Kidston
Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington. Liam Kidston

Health Minister Steven Miles said he was "sick and tired” of the LNP talking down the state's health staff.

"It's all they ever do.

"In May, the hardworking healthcare staff saw 2574 people at Gympie Hospital emergency department - that's 15 per cent more than the May last year,” he said.