Qld hospital delays as ED numbers ease

Almost half of patients taken to Queensland hospital emergency departments faced ambulance ramping of more than 30 minutes, according to the latest health performance data.

Despite patient numbers at emergency departments dropping in the September quarter, wait times barely shifted, Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said.

"Queenslanders are waiting for an ambulance to turn up at record levels," he said on Monday.

"Make no mistake, this shows the crisis that is in Queensland Health."

Hospital emergency departments treated more than 550,000 patients in the September quarter, down 12 per cent from the July quarter, the report released on Monday reveals.

"These figures show despite 20,000 fewer people turning up at EDs, the wait times have barely moved, and it remains the worst in the nation at 44 per cent.

"That means that there's nearly a one in two chance of a Queenslander waiting longer than they should at the end of the ramp."

However, Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said that despite more than 300,000 staff days lost due to isolation and quarantine since March, there had been encouraging improvement

"There has been improvement in some areas but, as we expected, this data does cover the third wave of COVID where it took until mid-August before we started coming down off those really high staff furloughed numbers and COVID bad numbers," the minister said,

Critically injured Category 1 patients were seen by clinicians within two minutes, and the overall median wait time in the emergency depart meant was 17 minutes, she said.

Almost seven out of 10 patients were treated within clinical wait times, she said.

"To see these improvements in hospital performance during a quarter heavily impacted by COVID and flu is encouraging," Ms D'Ath said.

Meanwhile, the number of people receiving elective surgery in Queensland public hospitals increased by two per cent, with 33,016 procedures carried out.

"This builds on the strong elective surgery performance from the June 2022 quarter, which saw a 40 per cent increase in activity," Ms D'Ath said.

"Almost 90 per cent of the most urgent Category 1 elective surgery patients were seen within clinically recommended times."