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SEQ hospitals treating a 'flunami' of people

This year's flu season could break records but South-East Queensland hospitals are managing the increased demand thanks to the Winter Bed Strategy.

Queensland Health Director-General Michael Walsh said since the unprecedented, unseasonal demand we saw in March, every single Hospital and Health Service, and the entire SEQ region has had bed capacity at all times.

"Our hospitals are still experiencing heavy demand, and the 'flunami' is continuing to drive more people into our emergency departments, but we're coping," Mr Walsh said.

"Between 1 January and 5 April, Brisbane and Gold Coast health services experienced 32 occasions of capacity alerts.

"That dropped to just 19 across 15 hospitals in April, May and June, despite the flu driven surge in presentations.”

Mr Walsh said with a combined total of 1,365 hospital days, the data showed there were no significant bed capacity issues for 98.6 per cent of the three month period.

"In June, there was only one day where more than one hospital in a HHS experienced excessive demand, which meant even when flu presentations started to increase, the significant majority of our hospitals were operating without any major capacity issues,” he said.

"The Winter Bed Strategy, teamwork between the hospitals, hardworking staff, and Queensland Health's call for the community to visit GPs and pharmacies where possible, are among the reason's our hospitals are able to manage the demand.

"Our $20 million Winter Bed Strategy is helping maintain capacity during the tsunami of flu sweeping across Australia.

"Patient Access Coordination Hub (PACH) systems are allowing hospitals to work together to ensure capacity across the system.

"I want to thank our frontline staff for their hard work and dedication in managing the growth in demand this Winter.

"I also want to thank the community for their patience earlier in the year, and for their role in ensuring the sickest Queenslanders are able to access immediate care."


Media contact:               3708 5376

Last updated: 23 July 2019