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  • Locals urged to avoid hospital emergency department for non-urgent cases

    Local residents are being urged to consider visiting a GP unless they're facing an emergency situation.

    Cairns Hospital's emergency department has been under immense pressure in recent days, with a spike in serious presentations sparking a Code Yellow activation.

    Code Yellow occurs when the Emergency Department has reached full capacity, with off-duty staff being called in to help the hospital cope with the influx of patients.

    Over the weekend, the Emergency Department saw dozens of extra patients than an average weekend.

    • Friday 3rd August: 214 ED presentations
    • Saturday 4th August: 213 ED presentations
    • Sunday 5th August: 205 ED presentations

    Over the past 12 months, the average number of presentations was between 190 and 200 presentations.

    A higher than average number of life-threatening category 1 patients exacerbated the problem, with 11 patients seen on both Saturday and Sunday compared to the daily average of three to five patients.


    Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service Executive Director Cairns Services Tina Chinery urged the community to think about alternative options unless it was an emergency situation.

    “The staff at Cairns Hospital and the Queensland Ambulance Service do an incredible job looking after our community, often in critical and difficult circumstances,” she said.

    “I would ask everyone in the community that as the hospital is experiencing a busy period, if it is not an emergency, to please try to visit your local doctor in the first instance.”