Hospital's abilities in question
THE ‘staging post’ hospital that has been set up at the Gladstone Airport for patients who need transferring from flood-affected hospitals has called into question the abilities and services of the Gladstone Hospital.
Emergency Services Queensland (EMQ), Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) and Queensland Health (QH) have combined services to form the makeshift medical centre, which will house patients flown in from flood-affected hospitals until the Royal Flying Doctor Service transfers them to other hospitals.
However, a number of Gladstone locals contacted The Observer yesterday asking why the Gladstone hospital couldn’t provide the same services.
Queensland Health acting chief health officer Dr Aaron Groves said the Gladstone Hospital was servicing and accommodating flood affected patients where appropriate.
“The role of the tactical medical staging facility is to provide care for patients being transferred from a helicopter to fixed wing airplane,” Dr Groves told The Observer.
“Since there is no airstrip at the hospital, the most efficient disaster management response is to provide this at the airport.”
Dr Groves said the facility was not doing the work of the Gladstone Hospital and it was not a reflection on the ability of Gladstone Hospital to manage seriously ill patients.
“Any patient who would normally be transported to Gladstone Hospital for treatment, by ambulance or air, will still be taken there,” Dr Groves said.
“In fact during the floods, Gladstone Hospital has taken a number of additional patients to ease the load on Rockhampton Hospital.
“The current floods are one of the worst natural disasters in the state’s history, requiring a comprehensive response across all government agencies.”
Dr Groves said this includes setting up the tactical medical facility at Gladstone Airport.
“This also keeps the resources of the Gladstone Hospital free for urgent cases.”