Man dies waiting on stretcher in Nambour hospital emergency department

AUTHORITIES will review the death of an elderly man after waiting four hours for care in a Queensland hospital’s emergency department.

The 87-year-old died on a stretcher at the Nambour hospital on Mother’s Day, four hours after going there for medical help.

The union that represents ambulance officers has attacked Queensland Health Minister Paul Lucas, saying the state’s health and emergency services have been left desperately underfunded.  “I think the Minister for Health Paul Lucas needs to get out of the taxpayer funded gravy trough and do the job that he’s actually employed to do,” Kroy Day, a spokesman for the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union, told the ABC.

“And that’s to adequately fund and resource the health and emergency services, both of which are fundamentally under resourced.  “Thank God we’ve got a Prime Minister that actually wants to take over funding. Maybe he will take this issue seriously where obviously the minister in Queensland has not.”   The chief executive officer of the Sunshine Coast Health Service Kevin Hegarty told the ABC the death would be subject to a review, but proper protocol was followed on the day.

“At the time on that Sunday Mother’s Day, there was an influx of high acuity patients – a number of (category) twos,” he said.   “The operation of an emergency department is given by clinical priority so the attention of the medical and nursing staff was given to those with the most need as is appropriate in an influx of high acuity patients.”

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