Metro North HHS increases health care services

Australia’s largest public health provider continues to grow with almost 20,000 additional patients admitted to Brisbane north hospitals in the last financial year.

Metro North Hospital and Health Service, which employs more than 17,000 staff, delivered more than $2.4 billion in health care services, including 3.5 million occasions of service.

Board Chair Dr Robert Stable AM said despite a significant increase in activity, Metro North introduced new services to continue to meet demand.

“Over the past year we have had substantially more patients coming into our hospitals and our community based services. Our frontline and support staff have worked incredibly hard to ensure no one falls through the cracks and everyone receives the care they need,” Dr Stable said.

“We have responded to this rise in community need with additional services such as our enhanced rehabilitation service at The Prince Charles Hospital and expanded intensive care service in the Moreton Bay region.”

In 2015-16, Metro North saw a 7% increase in surgical activity, almost 9% more emergency admissions, 5200 additional ambulance arrivals, and more than 11,000 extra people attending emergency departments.

The HHS also introduced an ear, nose and throat service at Caboolture, increased the capacity of the breast milk bank, and established a health care logistics hub to ensure patients are seen where and when they need to be.

Chief Executive Ken Whelan said that even with additional services and increased frontline staff, the health service delivered a balanced budget and met its service targets.

“During the financial year we took a different approach to some of the issues that arise each year, particularly our peak period during the colder months. We started early and supported specific programs which allowed us to continue meeting our regular targets as well as servicing the additional demand,” Mr Whelan said.

“This included our organisation wide and local winter bed management strategies, enhancing our relationship with the Brisbane North PHN and increasing the GP liaison service.

“We also reduced wait lists by opening theatres longer, reviewing the quality of referrals to reduce the time patients spent waiting for diagnostic tests, expanding our telehealth services, and offering a combined kidney disease/diabetes clinic.

“Ultimately, none of this would be possible without the continued dedication and care of our professional and hard working staff.”

Metro North’s annual report is available online.

Fast facts:

  • 48% reduction in long wait ENT outpatients since June 2015 (1447 patients)
  • 71% of patients admitted or discharged from emergency departments (196,363 patients)
  • Three years of zero long wait dental lists
  • 94,824 ambulance arrivals, up from 91,617 last year
  • 11,493 more emergency department presentations, from 268,773 to 280,266 people.
  • 8.7% increase in emergency admissions
  • 239,376 hospital admissions, up from 218,633 in 2014-15
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