Hospitals review their operating schedules as Covid-19 cases rise in Queensland

A lack of staff and a growing number of Covid patients have forced one state to act on what is a priority in its hospital system.

Queenslanders booked for non-urgent medical procedures may receive a call that their hospital bed is full as the Sunshine State battles the latest wave of Covid-19.

Coronavirus hospitalizations in Queensland hit their highest level since February, with Acting Prime Minister Stephen Miles on Friday confirming 714 people are in need of care.

Including 17 people in intensive care.

With 40,191 people in the state infected with Covid, Mr Miles said, the highest number since mid-May, “all hospitals” are likely assessing their ability to offer category 3 elective surgeries.

However, Mr Miles said any change to the schedule would be done on a hospital-by-hospital basis, not statewide, and would not affect those in need of emergency care.

“I’m just urging people that if their hospital contacts them and says they need to reschedule emergency less urgent elective care, it’s because doctors and nurses are working hard to take care of more urgent cases,” Mr Miles said. . .

“Obviously they are only trying to reschedule the services that are the least urgent and the safest to be rescheduled.”

In the 24 hours to Friday morning, 13 more people have died from Covid in Queensland, with 1,315 people in the state having died from the disease since the start of the pandemic.

The daily number of cases was 5,726 – down from 5,980 new cases since Thursday – but the figure is still higher than other daily numbers in recent weeks.

Hospitalizations and case numbers are also up in New South Wales and Victoria.

Mr Miles said the number of people with Covid in Queensland, unlike the flu, has risen significantly in recent days and the total number of Covid patients now exceeds the number of flu victims by a ratio of 20 to 1.

He urged Queenslanders to get booster shots if they qualify, as only two-thirds of them are eligible.

Originally published as Hospitals review their operating schedules as Covid-19 cases rise in Queensland