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Audit of Performance of Public Hospital Emergency Departments in Queensland Released

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A report from the Queensland Audit Office tabled in State Parliament examined emergency department (ED) wait times for public hospital emergency departments. The report found demand on public hospital emergency departments has far outstripped Queensland’s population growth, and performance in meeting key targets has steadily declined.

The audit assessed whether the Department of Health and hospital and health services have effectively implemented the recommendations made in Emergency department performance reporting (Report 3: 2014–15), and whether Queensland Health is effectively managing emergency length of stay and patient off stretcher time performance.

The top 26 hospitals treat approximately 77 per cent of Queensland’s emergency department presentations. Queensland Health also measured how soon ED patients were seen by a treating doctor or nurse and triaged into five categories — from One (immediately life-threatening) to Five (less urgent). The report found demand for ambulance transport and emergency departments continues to grow faster than the population. This demand, and more people presenting with complex issues, is placing increasing pressure on Queensland’s ambulance service and emergency departments.

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