Hospital in a 'critical' state

Peter Wellington is pleading for action at Nambour Hospital.
Peter Wellington is pleading for action at Nambour Hospital.

THE major hospital serving Gympie Region is critically ill, dangerously overworked and virtually paralysed from stress, State Parliament was told on Tuesday.

Nicklin MP Peter Wellington told the House that Nambour Hospital, – the hub of Gympie’s Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Services District and the treatment destination for many sick and injured Gympie people – is “effectively gridlocked” and in a dangerous state of continual crisis.

He said only improved resourcing could prevent “significant mistakes.”

“Staff are being asked to work above and beyond the call of duty not once a week, not twice a week but continually,” he said.

He referred to “the need for the Minister for Health (Deputy Premier Paul Lucas) to acknowledge that the Nambour Hospital is in crisis. “There is no spare capacity ... The hospital is jammed with all beds continually fully occupied.

“The hospital is effectively gridlocked.”

Meanwhile, Noosa Private Hospital had capacity to preform an extra 700 procedures a year.

“We need our health minister to pick up the phone and speak with the manager of the Noosa Private Hospital and take up the offer to perform these services.

“Unless they do, the Nambour General Hospital will continue to be under stress, continue to be in crisis and continue to put significant pressures on our doctors, our staff and everyone who works at Nambour Hospital.

“Earlier this week it was again reported that the Nambour Hospital emergency department is the busiest in Queensland. That is according to Queensland Health’s own figures.

“One of the concerns we have is that the busier a hospital gets, combined with a continual lack of spare capacity in a hospital, is a recipe for possible mistakes.

“The government needs to properly resource our hospitals so significant mistakes cannot happen.”

Mr Lucas had earlier told the House that “delivering health care in Queensland is not just about hospitals and beds,” but also about “stronger community health, better support, expanded chronic disease programs and more accessible public health programs.”

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