Russell Island resident calls for better island health services after six-hour care delay

A RUSSELL Island resident has pleaded for better emergency health services after his father died following a six-hour delay in getting specialist care.

Greg Hartay-Szabo said it was an hour-and-a-half after the family's emergency call that his father, aged 75, reached the mainland.

He had to wait a further four hours at Redland Hospital before being taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital, a heart specialist facility. 

Mr Hartay-Szabo said his father died the following day and was diagnosed as having had a heart attack.

"I hope that this shall at the very least be a wake-up call to expedite planning and funding infrastructure provisions for these islands that have a predominantly elderly population, so that other people may be saved or be given a better chance in similar critical situations," Mr Hartay-Szabo said.

He said the government should spend more money on improving emergency health services.

Mr Hartay-Szabo said it was unacceptable that it took more than six hours for his father to get to the heart specialist hospital that was 40 kilometres from the island location where the emergency call was made.

"I appreciate the effort of the local medical professionals who, no doubt, give their best to provide the best available care on these islands," he said.

"But there is certainly a significant room for improvement."

Mr Hartay-Szabo said called for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands' ambulances to be equipped with a mobile intensive care unit in case of a longer transfer time and no helicopter transfer available.

"Such equipment could make it possible to place a patient under induced coma or other urgent medical response while waiting for transfer by water transport," he said.

Health Minister Steven Miles did not respond to a request for comment.

A Metro South Health spokesperson said the Redland Hospital had a 13-bed ward for people in a stable condition who had chest pain and needed cardiac monitoring.

"Patients are transferred to the Princess Alexandra Hospital for interventional procedures in the catheter lab or for cardiac surgery," the spokesperson said.

"Policy modifications and internal planning between facilities are under regular review to make inter-hospital transfers more efficient for improved patient care."

The spokesperson said Metro South Health serviced Southern Moreton Bay Islands and had a Redland Hospital emergency department outpost on North Stradbroke Island.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesperson said calls for emergency medical assistance were prioritised and the closes most appropriate ambulance dispatched in an emergency.

"This is no different for residents who live in remote, rural or island locations," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said Russell Island had a full-time paramedic during the day and on call after hours.

"Additionally the QAS has paramedics available on Moreton Island, Macleay Island and Stradbroke Island," the spokesperson said.

QAS had a contract with a local company to provide a vessel service for paramedics. Volunteer first responders, other allied agencies, mainland paramedics and aero-medical support were also called on if where necessary.