Hundreds walk out of Wide Bay emergency departments

MORE than 310 people walked out of emergency departments across the Wide Bay last month without receiving treatment.

The Queensland Health data for March 2019 found 5841 patients left emergency departments across the state without getting any treatment.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington criticised the figures.

"Our hard-working nurses, doctors and paramedics are doing the best they can, but they simply need more help on the frontline," she said.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service chief executive Adrian Pennington said the region's emergency departments had 10,363 presentations last month, a 12 per cent increase on the previous year.

It also included a 34 per cent increase in the second-most urgent category of patients.

"Despite this significant overall increase, we continued to see 100 per cent of our most urgent patients within their clinically recommended waiting time, and the vast majority of our patients were either admitted or discharged from our emergency departments within the recommended time of four hours," he said.

"In fact, our median wait time across all five categories was just 15 minutes."

Mr Pennington said the region's hospitals were leading the state in public emergency department performance.

"While everyone who comes to our emergency departments will be treated, our clinicians will always treat the sickest patients first," he said.

"That does result in patients in less urgent triage categories waiting longer, and on occasion there are patients who will choose not to wait."

Health Minister Steven Miles said across the state there had been an increase of almost six per cent in emergency admissions.

Mr Miles said more than 31 per cent of all presentations to the state's emergency department last year could have been treated by a GP.

"Please know that if you're waiting in an ED to be seen for a minor ailment, it's probably because our-hard working emergency physicians are working hard to save someone's life," he said.