Children’s hospital staff are being forced to close their wards and clinics in the wake of a surge in the number of children arriving with serious medical conditions.
Key points:The Royal Children’s Hospital is facing major disruption as more than 400 Phoenix children are treatedThe Children’s Royal Hospital is operating at a loss after staff are forced to leave and the community hospital is also struggling with a shortage of bedsThe Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in Queensland has been the most affected by the influx of patients with serious health conditions, and is expected to have to close its two primary wards in the coming weeks.
Key point:The Children and Family Hospital is in the process of closing the two wardsThe Royal Hospital in Brisbane is facing a major disruption after staff have been forced to go homeThe community hospital in Townsville is also experiencing a shortage in beds.
In a statement on Thursday, Queensland Health said it was working to establish a temporary staff base to manage the influx.
“The Queensland Health Department is providing support to the Queensland Department of Health and the Queensland Health Service to address the situation in the Queensland Family Health Centre,” it said.
“We are also in the early stages of developing the new Queensland Family Safety and Health Service (QFHS), which will provide a comprehensive, collaborative and transparent approach to managing the health and safety of children and families.”
The Queensland Government is also preparing for the worst.
“Queensland Health is working with the Queensland Government and the Department of Primary Industries to ensure the Queensland Hospital of South Queensland (QHSS) and its community facilities are operating at full capacity,” it stated.
“This includes the construction of additional operating theatres and temporary facilities to house the influx and to facilitate the flow of critical and life-saving services to the community.”
Queenslanders are facing a record number of emergency department visits from children in hospitals.
The Queensland Department for Health says the peak number of hospital admissions per capita for the past 12 months was nearly 7,500.
Queenslander children with serious illness accounted for nearly one in five of all emergency department admissions.
This comes after the Queensland government announced a series of measures to reduce the number and severity of children with severe illness in hospitals and to increase the number, duration and quality of services provided to those children.
Queans children are facing the most serious emergency department illness and are more likely to be admitted to hospital than any other age group.
Queenlanders have been hospitalised for more than 4,000 children in the past year.
This is in stark contrast to Queensland, where only about 1,000 emergency department children were hospitalised in 2015.
Queld Health Minister Liza Harvey said Queensland was still at the front of the pack when it came to emergency department hospital admissions and that the numbers were not sustainable.
“There’s been a real, real challenge in terms of the numbers of people coming in,” she said.”[We are] seeing a real surge of patients and we’re trying to get people into care.
We are taking very seriously our emergency department.
It’s an urgent issue for Queensland.”
The government says it has allocated more than $100 million to the crisis.
It has also set up an online chat system to help families find each other.
Quebec Health says there are currently 3,000 families at risk of losing their children to Queensland hospitals.
Queck residents are also being urged to call their health authorities and let them know what they can do.
“It’s important to get the word out that we need to get help to help those families,” Ms Harvey said.
Topics:emergency-incidents,health,health-policy,hospitals,healthcare-facilities,health;community-and-society,community-organisations,children,community,communityhealth-and/or-diseases-and_psychiatric-disorders,childrens-university-0800,brisbane-4000More stories from Queensland