Medical Officer Consultation

Posted on August 24, 2015

Electronic Medical Records 

Together medical members have raised a range of concerns about the implementation of the integrated electronic medical record (iEMR) program in 6 major hospitals: 

  • Cairns Hospital
  • Mackay Base Hospital
  • Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
  • Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • The Townsville Hospital

Concerns range from the inadequacy of the hardware provided, inadequate access to paper records during the transition process, through to the appropriateness and safety of the software itself. Unfortunately the previous government and a range of HHSs have refused to heed this feedback. 

Now that the government is in place and action has been taken on restoring collective bargaining and your rights and an agreement has been reached on your wages and conditions, it is now time to address this issue once again.

Please provide any additional feedback or let us know if you would like to be more involved in this issue to or 1800 177 244. 

Ambulance Ramping Initiative  

The previous Bligh Labour Government initiated a review into the practice of ambulance "ramping" in Queensland Emergency Departments. This review was focused on metropolitan hospitals and made a number of recommendations including "banning" of ambulance diversion or "bypass". See the 2012 report here.

Unfortunately Together doctors were not part of this review and then the LNP Government implemented these initiatives without consultation and without considering constraints in regional EDs. This caused a range of serious problems in its implementation. 

The LNP then quietly scrapped the initiative altogether leading to the increase once again of Ramping - in regional EDs in particular. 

The current Health Minister, Cameron Dick has reintroduced a directive to avoid the practice of ramping.

The directive requires Health Services to:

  • Ensure 90 per cent of patients arriving at Emergency Departments by ambulance will be received into the appropriate Emergency Department treatment area within 30 minutes
  • Assume 24 hour responsibility for Emergency Department access.
  • Provide a single point of contact for the Queensland Ambulance Service to enable Emergency Department access issues to be addressed 24 hours/day.
  • Ensure “ambulance bypass” is not utilised except in the event of an internal or external disaster.
  • Optimise patient flow and bed management strategies by actively utilising predictive bed management tools and patient flow management systems.
  • Ensure triage staff undertake mandatory training to clarify the roles and scope of practice for Queensland Ambulance Service staff.
  • Ensure all patients arriving by ambulance are triaged on arrival when clinically appropriate.
  • Ensure no patient is returned to the ambulance after triage.

The Minister's office has contacted us and committed to involving Together medical officers in consultation around these initiatives. 

Please contact the union office with your feedback or to be involved further at or 1800 177 244.  

1800 177 244