Latest victims of hospital purchasing fiasco

HOSPITAL staff were blocked from ordering renal fluid for dialysis patients this week, as more companies revolt against Queensland Health's disastrous new ordering system.

The incredible situation came to a head after the supplier demanded an outstanding $22,000 payment before it would allow Redland Hospital to place an order on Tuesday, The Courier-Mail can reveal.

It is understood the hospital was told the account was on "credit block" due to unpaid invoices.

It forced staff to find a workaround, placing the order by credit card so that vital supplies could be sent immediately.

Redland Hospital
Redland Hospital

It came as hospitals in the Metro South health region, including Princess Alexandra and Queen Elizabeth II, were still on credit block with a major supplier on Tuesday, despite Queensland Health late last week denying a credit hold with the company was still in effect.

It's understood a three-figure payment was made Tuesday night, allowing the credit hold to be dropped yesterday.

That company provides specialist dressings, bandages, gloves, chemicals used in X-ray imaging and general disposables, like kidney dishes.

One staff member told The Courier-Mail they felt like "deadbeats" who couldn't pay their bills because of problems with the new hospital ordering system, S/4HANA.

The latest development in the now nine-week saga came as QH refused to answer questions around how many companies had put QH or its Hospital and Health Services (HHS) on credit hold due to held-up payments through the $135 million system.

The renal fluid was on order for dialysis patients. Picture: iStock
The renal fluid was on order for dialysis patients. Picture: iStock

It also refused to comment on specifics put to it by The Courier-Mail around three different companies owed money.

And it refused to answer questions around why so many companies were still awaiting late payments through S/4HANA - and where the problems lay.

QH has earlier suggested problems were in users' operation of the system rather than the system itself.

Neither did it respond to questions around how many phone calls had been made to a special phone line set up for vendors to resolve late payments last month after an influx of complaints.

Instead, a one-line statement said: "We appreciate our vendors' patience and again reaffirm our commitment that if you are doing business with Queensland Health you will be paid."