By JESSICA MARSZALEK, EXCLUSIVE, The Courier-Mail
April 10, 2019 4:01pm
FURIOUS paramedics have faced off against emergency department staff in a patient tug of war sparked by hospital overcrowding.
High-level meetings are being held today after paramedics complained to Health Minster Steven Miles that they have been ejected from Logan Hospital by emergency department staff over past 48 hours.
The action was sparked by an internal missive to emergency staff that they request paramedics wait outside — in a practice known as ramping — if its 9 waiting bays are full.
Under a “rapid offloads” policy put place across south east hospitals a year ago, 9 designated “trolley areas” at the hospital enable paramedics to offload patients into EDs before they can be seen to in order for ambulances to get back on the road.
“In all nine (9) bays are full, and a further QAS crew arrives, the ED EAGLE or Senior ED Nurse should advice the crew that no offload spaces are available and request that they wait outside the Emergency Department until a bed is available,” the memo says.
It’s understood complaints from furious paramedics will see the memo revoked today.
“Paramedics bringing in patients are being stopped by hospital staff at triage and told to take their patients back to their units ramped outside,” United Voice Queensland branch secretary Gary Bullock said.
“It’s simply unacceptable to turn patients away from hospital and back into ambulances. It’s putting at risk the lives of Queenslanders in need.
“Our ambulance officers need to be out in the community, responding to emergencies, not stuck on hospital ramps.
“As the union for Queensland Ambulance Officers, United Voice demands that the Director General take immediate action to fix this, and the Health Minister take control of Metro South health board.”
“Clearly they haven’t got the ability to run the service the community needs — the Minister must step up and take control if the hospital boards can’t do it.”
“This is another example of the health crisis failing Queenslanders.”