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  • Queensland's opposition ramps up pledge on ambulances

    Author: AAP

Ambulance ramping in Queensland will have set targets that reduce numbers to 15 per cent under a state opposition election pledge.

Liberal National Party leader David Crisafulli said his party would prioritise reducing ramping across the state's hospitals if elected at the October 2024 poll.

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Ramping is where ambulances are lined up at emergency departments unable to offload patients, which ties up crews at the hospitals.

Hospital data for the quarter is expected to be released soon, with some 16,036 hours lost by ambulances in May - a monthly record.

Figures from January to June showed paramedics lost 85,456 hours across the state over the six months.

Metro South Hospital and Health Service recorded the worst results, with 29,568 lost hours during the first half of the year.

Mr Crisafulli said the LNP would set targets and key performance indicators to reduce ramping numbers, which health spokesperson Ros Bates said was currently at 45 per cent.

"I'm not going to just set one figure and have it into the never never," Mr Crisafulli told reporters on Tuesday.

"I want measurables where people can be held accountable along the way."

"I'm not just going to set targets, I'm going to set benchmarks along the way and hold the minister accountable, and I'm committed to that."

The government allocated $764 million in the state budget to tackle ambulance ramping.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Shannon Fentiman announced the expansion of a scheme to entice more interstate and overseas workers into the health service.

Junior doctors, visiting medical officers and GPs are eligible for up to $70,000 as part of the Workforce Attraction Incentive Transfer Scheme that offers financial incentives to live and work in rural and regional Queensland.

The scheme is now available to overseas or interstate specialists for any role a year or longer, as well as permanent roles.

Bursaries of $40,000 for up to 50 GPs annually who undertake a diploma or advanced diploma in obstetrics or anaesthetics are also on offer.

"Health professionals are in significant demand worldwide, so it is crucial that action is taken to attract and retain the best and brightest to work in our hospitals and clinics," said Ms Fentiman.

"This will help deliver a skilled and sustainable workforce so Queenslanders can continue to access world-class healthcare, no matter where they live."

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