Ros Bates and Mark McArdle.
Ros Bates and Mark McArdle. Stuart Quinn

LNP ramps up health promise amid 'blown out' wait times

HOSPITAL ramping and elective surgery wait times are the blazing guns the LNP are firing at the Palaszczuk Government and what they are calling its "health crisis”.

Shadow health minister Ros Bates was joined by Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle in Bundaberg yesterday where they spoke with the region's frontline emergency service workers about the state of play in the region.

The minister and member pointed to figures which suggested 28 per cent of patients presenting to the hospital emergency department were not seen on time and only 18 per cent of Category 1 patients - the most at risk - needing to be admitted to a hospital bed got one within four hours.

They also indicated ambulance ramping was at 15 per cent and elective surgery median wait times had risen to 35 days.

"Emergency department wait times are blowing out, with almost one-third of all patients not being seen within clinically recommended time frames at Wide Bay hospitals,” Ms Bates said.

"These aren't just statistics, these are people waiting on the back of ambulances - someone's mother, father, child or grandparents.

"As a registered nurse I understand that our hard-working nurses, doctors and paramedics are doing the best they can but they need more help to improve wait times and targeted resources to provide better health services for Queenslanders.”

In April, the NewsMail contacted the hospital about ramping issues and was told no patients were being made wait for an emergency bed.

"Bundaberg Hospital remains the second best emergency department performer in the state public system, despite experiencing increasing emergency department presentation numbers,” the spokesman said at the time.

The spokesman said the majority of patients who were not seen within clinically recommended times were those who presented with less urgent cases, many of which could typically be treated by a general practitioner.

However, the Opposition hit back yesterday at what they called a "secretive government” that would not allow them access to the hospital for a visit during their two-day stay.

Bundaberg MP David Batt said, even as the sitting member, he needed approval before entering the hospital and said an LNP government would partner with the private sector to slash waiting times and elective surgery wait times.

"Our plan to cut wait times is all part of our plan to improve frontline health services in Queensland,” he said.