Women using kids' beds: McArdle
ADULT women patients are being placed in beds in Rockhampton Hospital's Paediatric Unit on rare occasions.
The issue was raised by Shadow Health spokesman Mark McArdle yesterday during a visit to the hospital.
"There was clearly an issue of bed capacity here in Rockhampton.
"There is an overflow issue where parents or adults are placed into paediatrics at any given time," Mr McArdle said.
Rockhampton Hospital executive director Bernadette Loughnane said adult patients were never housed in the same room as children.
"On very rare, very busy occasions, low-acuity adult women patients may need to be admitted to the Paediatric Unit," she said.
"If so, they are housed in separate rooms. Rockhampton Hospital is undergoing a $244 million redevelopment which will deliver more beds and more services when complete."
Mr McArdle said the ED was still in a critical situation.
He said with Gladstone's growth, there were concerns the overflow from the Gladstone ED would flow into Rockhampton Hospital.
Mr McArdle said issues at the oncology unit and treatment needed to be looked at.
"The capacity at this point in time is not sufficient to cater for the growth and needs of Rockhampton," he said.
"I was advised today that in this point in time a patient is waiting up to 24 hours in the ED to get a place in a ward. Now that's not often but once is too much.
"On an average, you can wait up to 12 hours in the ED here. That is much too long.
"The Commonwealth goal is now a four-hour wait period.
"But again, Rockhampton is turning the corner.
"It has improved since I was here 12 months ago but a great deal more has to be done."
Health Minister Geoff Wilson said Mark McArdle was once again out of date.
"It's well publicised that Rockhampton Hospital's emergency department wait times were better than the national benchmark (21 minutes)," he said.