Premier finally admits hospitals in crisis
PUBLIC hospitals across the state's southeast have hit capacity 32 times already this year.
But after hitting the panic button earlier this week, Queensland Health now says the "code yellows" are no cause for alarm in the community.
The hospital debacle continued until 10.30am on Thursday, when Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that 10 hospitals that had activated code yellow had finally fallen below capacity.
As of late Thursday, those hospitals were still below capacity.
However The Courier-Mail can reveal that since January 1, there have been 32 capacity code yellows across the 12 hospitals in the Metro North, Metro South and Gold Coast Hospital and Health Services.
And in response to a letter fired off by the premier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hit back at claims of the lack of federal funding, saying the management of Queensland hospitals was a matter for the State Government.
"The Department of Health is working with Queensland's State Health Emergency co-ordination Centre, including releasing data that identifies current vacancies in Queensland Aged Care services to facilitate Hospital and Health Services making contact on a patient's behalf where appropriate," Mr Morrison wrote.
"As at 30 June 2018, 89.1 per cent of operational places in Queensland were occupied. This is the lowest of any state or territory and indicates there are places available."
Mr Morrison said during 2014-15 to 2017-18, the Australian Government's funding for public hospitals in Queensland had grown by $1.2 billion or 40 per cent.
The Prime Minister also said the "substantial growth" in private patient separations in Queensland hospitals had impacted on access to beds.
Ms Palaszczuk on Thursday accepted responsibility for the emergency that's plagued the southeast this week, claiming "You can call it an emergency. You can call it a crisis."
"I accept my responsibility and I expect the Federal Government to accept their responsibility because that is what good, decent governments do," she told parliament.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the health service remained in crisis. "The Labor Government has failed to plan," she said.
"We know that the south east Queensland hospitals are still at breaking point.
"This didn't happened overnight, this crisis has been in the making for many months."