It comes following reports that four hospitals in the state’s north went into yellow alert indicating capacity had been reached, which the Opposition Leader said had become a normal situation.
Mr Crisafulli said the hospital system was in “crisis before we had even heard about coronavirus”, criticising the Premier for not using the 18 months since the beginning of the pandemic to prepare.
“For 18 months we’ve been asking how many extra intensive care beds had been put online, how many more respirators, what training’s been given, how many more staff (are needed),” Mr Crisafulli told Sky News Australia host Andrew Bolt.
“This government’s been in power for nearly seven years, and you can see Queensland Health continues to spiral.
“It spirals because of a lack of leadership, and a culture of secrecy of people at the frontline not being able to be given the power and the decision making and the resourcing to do things.”
The reason Queensland borders are closed is because ‘the hospitals can’t cope’
Ms Palaszczuk last week called on the federal government to inject more money into Queensland’s hospital system, amid concerns pressure would build when domestic and international borders reopen.
But Mr Crisafulli said the blame for the current hospital crisis “lies at the feet of the Premier”.
“Hospitals are the responsibility of the state government,” he said.
“This government’s had seven years and 18 months warning with the pandemic and if it ain’t up to scratch that lies at the feet of the Premier.”
Mr Crisafulli outlined what he said was the root cause of Queensland’s current state of affairs, as reports of ramping and extended emergency department stays reveal the extent of the issue.
Challenges faced by Queensland hospitals have ‘nothing to do with COVID’
A report from the Queensland Audit Office tabled in September showed hospital wait times had worsened since 2014.
The report examined two key criteria including Patient Off Stretcher Time (POST) which aims to transfer people from an ambulance to the emergency department within 30 minutes for 90 per cent of patients.
The POST performance for 26 of the top hospitals in Queensland has dropped from 85.9 per cent in 2014 – when Ms Palaszczuk took government – to 68.5 per cent in 2021.
“A culture of centralisation, a culture where all the resources and knowhow is sucked into the administration in Brisbane and people at the front line are starved. A culture where secrecy and how things look are more important than transparency and how things are,” Mr Crisafulli said of the healthcare system in the state.
“What do I mean by that? In many hospitals around Australia right now you can go onto a website and in real time look and see what the availability is in the emergency department. That’s great for patients, it’s good for doctors and it also drives cultural change.
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“In Queensland the most up to date data we get is three months old, so we are prosecuting a case with data which is three months old. You can’t improve what you don’t measure.”
The Opposition Leader also said there were increasing reports from the ground where hospitals had reached peak capacity.
“You (Mr Bolt) mentioned the code yellow, they used to be newsworthy once upon a time, now we have one a day, it’s just run of the mill,” he said.
“We get screenshots from whistle blowers every day, nurses, doctors, paramedics, patients ringing us crying out for help to fix a sick system.”

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