Big ideas to fix hospital bed block

18 Jun 2021

Treatment in emergency

A group of Queensland medical leaders has proposed a wealth of transformational ideas to help solve the chronic bed block in many public hospitals.

The emergency specialists, surgeons and doctors from across the state have met for the first time to develop a roadmap out of the emergency department ramping crisis.

The AMA Queensland roundtable group chair and emergency physician Dr Kim Hansen said there was no shortage of practical ideas that could be rolled out now and over the longer-term.

“There’s no time to wait - emergency departments are more crowded than ever,” Dr Hansen said

“Sick and injured Queenslanders are waiting hours to get into an ED and may then have to wait days to move from the ED into a hospital ward.

“There is enormous pressure on over-worked staff and we are deeply worried about their wellbeing.”

Dr Hansen said the solution was twofold - innovation and investment.

“Hospitals need to adopt new models of care to unblock the bottle necks,” she said.

“Examples include introducing KPIs across hospitals, not just in EDs, to ensure patients are seen within certain timeframes, so those who can leave aren’t stuck in a bed waiting for paperwork.”

AMA Queensland president Professor Chris Perry said the group hoped to work with Queensland Health to start implementing the recommendations.

“The health of our communities depends on taking a fresh approach,” Professor Perry said.

“This group has myriad ideas to fix inefficient hospital processes and systems; what we need now is leadership, funding and collaboration to turn ideas into reality.”


  • Chair - Dr Kim Hansen ­- Emergency Physician, St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, The Prince Charles Hospital
  • Professor Chris Perry - President AMA Queensland, Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist
  • Dr Brett Dale - CEO AMA Queensland
  • Dr Hash Abdeen - Chair Federal AMA Council of Doctors in Training, Senior Registrar Gold Coast University Hospital
  • Dr Kim Bulwinkel - Orthopaedic Surgeon, Locum
  • Dr Hashtika Ellapola - Senior Staff Specialist, Obstetrician, Logan Hospital
  • Dr Julia Haire - Emergency Physician, Sunshine Coast University Hospital
  • Dr Vikas Moudgil - Clinical Director, Psychiatrist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
  • Dr Elizabeth Mowatt - Emergency Physician, Cairns Hospital 
  • Dr Sean Rothwell - Emergency Physician, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
  • Dr Rob Nayer - AMA Queensland Co-Chair Council of Doctors in Training, Registrar, Gold Coast University Hospital
  • Dr Nick Buckmaster - General Physician, Gold Coast University Hospital
  • Dr Sanjeev NaiduGeneral Surgeon, Mater Public Hospital Brisbane/Mater Private Hospital Brisbane
  • Dr Andrew SpillerEmergency Physician, Greenslopes Private Hospital and Logan Hospital   


Published: 18 Jun 2021