Tuesday, April 23, 2024

$42m to improve ambulance availability and ease pressure on hospitals

The Queensland Government has today announced it will invest $42.35 million over four years to expand the Clinical Hub, an initiative aimed at improving ambulance availability, reducing pressures on hospital emergency departments and increasing health system capacity.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D’Ath said the funds would go to growing the team significantly, which first started as five paramedics and two Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMDs) back in 2020.

“The Clinical Hub first started in the early days of the pandemic as a small team making big in-roads,” Ms D’Ath said.

“By the end of the year we expect the hub to be operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with over 64 specialist staff, including senior paramedics, doctors, EMDS, Emergency Medical Specialists and mental health clinicians.

“This means we have more of the right people making the right calls to provide the right care for Queenslanders and freeing up capacity for the state’s most critical and urgent cases.”

Queensland Ambulance Service Commissioner Craig Emery said the Clinical Hub initiative was already making a difference.

“Currently, around 250 calls per day are directed to the Clinical Hub and over 60 of these are offered care which does not require an ambulance attendance,” he said.

Cases can also be upgraded after a reassessment from the Clinical Hub, once the needs and status of the patient are better understood with a longer, more detailed triage, he said.

“This system means we can ensure everyone is getting exactly the right treatment pathway.

“It also means we can free up resources for more urgent emergency cases, whether that’s ambulances on the road or potentially reducing some pressure on emergency departments,” said Commissioner Emery.

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