Thursday 7 October 2010

33 beds added to Cairns Base Hospital in three years

More than three-quarters of Queensland public hospitals had fewer or the same number of beds for patients in June 2010 as in June 2007.

Cairns Base Hospital added just 33 additional beds in the last three years, whilst population increased significantly over the same period.

Figures obtained by the Opposition for June 2010 showed Labor had presided over a public hospital system where bed numbers had stagnated or gone backwards in most smaller hospitals and failed to keep up with population growth across the State.

“Stagnant or declining bed numbers in regional and rural areas is a major concern and just as concerning is the failure of bed numbers to keep up with population growth across our larger hospitals,” LNP health spokesman Mark McArdle says. “By closing so many beds in smaller hospitals, country people will continue to be funneled into major towns on the Coast and southeast Queensland.

Available bed numbers declined in the three years to June 2010 at the QEII, Maryborough and Emerald Hospitals and are unchanged at the Atherton, Beaudesert, Gympie, Innisfail and Kingaroy Hospitals.

“You could count on one hand the number of new beds added in the past three years at the Ipswich, Mackay, Caboolture and Redland Hospitals – all areas of high population growth.

“Across the State there were approximately 2.0 real available beds per 1000 residents in Queensland Health run hospitals in June 2010 – down from 2.1 in June 2007," Mark McArdle says. “It’s disgraceful so few new hospital beds have been made available when Queensland’s population has increased by more than 300,000 people."

Cairns Base Hospital now has 356 beds, up 33 from 2009 (323)

“When there aren’t enough beds, patients are left languishing in crowded emergency departments for eight, 12 or even 16 hours waiting for admission and, in turn, this crowding means there is no room for patients arriving by ambulance," McArdle says. “Until Bligh and Labor deliver enough hospital beds, ambulance ramping times and access block will continue to worsen.

“It is about time Bligh and Labor started providing more hospital beds for sick patients instead of just more desks for bureaucrats.”

1 comment:

PB said...

Does that include the beds created in waiting rooms and broom cupboards?
(BTW I wish that were a joke)