Ramping
Ramping

Shocking number of times hospitals hit ‘code yellow’

HOSPITALS across the state's southeast were plunged into "code yellow" more than 50 times in six months, with the Opposition claiming the revelation underlined Labor's hospital "debacle".

The Courier-Mail can reveal there were 19 code yellows related to increased demand between April and June, including eight within the Metro North Hospital and Health Service (HHS) and six within West Moreton.

The figure lays bare the hospital "crisis" that's unfolded across the southeast this year, which bubbled over in March when all HHS' were plunged into code yellow.

All bar two southeast hospitals at the time hit capacity, forcing the State Government to release emergency funds for private hospital beds.

Staff signal code yellows when increased pressure is placed on a hospital in a short period of time and can be called before a hospital reaches capacity.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk couldn't run Queensland's health system.

"Labor's Hospital crisis now has a number and that is 51," she said.

"Under Labor, code yellows are the norm, ramping has skyrocketed and there aren't enough beds - it's a debacle."

In the wake of the March emergency, The Courier-Mail revealed there were 32 code yellows in the first three months of the year across 12 hospitals in Metro North, Metro South and Gold Coast HHS.

Ambulance ramping has also plagued several hospitals, including the Princess Alexandra Hospital where whistleblowers alleged patients had undergone medical procedures in packed corridors.

The crisis was so bad, patients underwent procedures in corridors at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane’s inner-south. Picture: AAP/Robert Shakespeare
The crisis was so bad, patients underwent procedures in corridors at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane’s inner-south. Picture: AAP/Robert Shakespeare

A Queensland Health spokesman said that in June there was only one day where more than one hospital in a HHS went on a demand-related code yellow, which proved the Government's winter bed funding and SEQ Patient Access Coordination Hub systems were working to ensure capacity.

"Our $20 million Winter Flu Strategy is helping maintain capacity during the tsunami of flu sweeping across Australia," he said.

"This 'flunami' is driving more people into our emergency departments but they are coping.

"Since the unprecedented, unseasonal demand we saw in March, every single hospital and health service, and the entire SEQ region has had bed capacity at all times."

Shadow health spokeswoman Ros Bates said when it came to health, Labor's priorities were wrong.