In two years of non-stop China virus fear-porn, one of the media’s favourite propaganda bludgeons has been hospitals overwhelmed! The only trouble is, it’s either not happened, or just been a case of business-as-usual for second-rate public health systems.

For all the media shrieking, hospitals in the US, with a few localised exceptions, have never come close to being “overwhelmed”. Nor in Britain. In places like Italy and Spain, hospitals are over-run every winter – often worse than during Covid.

Still, with all the endless panic about hospitals being overwhelmed, you’d have thought that governments would have poured money into ramping up their hospital capacities.

Instead, they’ve done nothing – or worse.

In New Zealand, the supposed “world-leading” Jacinda Ardern Government has not added a single ICU bed to Auckland’s three district health boards in the past 18 months. When Auckland’s current Covid outbreak began, the Auckland ICU was already at 120% capacity.

Ardern squandered 18 Covid-free months, doing nothing to prepare hospitals for the inevitable. New Zealand’s hospital bed capacity, per population, remains half that of Australia. Its relative ICU capacity is even less.

Australia’s most lockdown-happy states, all Labor-run like New Zealand, are nothing to boast about, either.

The four largest hospitals in northern Queensland issued “code yellow’’ alarms on Tuesday, asking ambulances to divert as their beds neared capacity – a situation described by emer­gency doctors as “unprecedented’’.

This, at a time when Queensland has just a handful of Covid cases and no deaths for months. Yet Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has the gall to try and shake down the federal government for money, “cuz Covid”.

Australian College for Emergency Medicine president John Bonning said the declaration of four code yellows in one day was “unprecedented”. The Queensland Premier last week warned she may not open her state’s borders even when vaccination coverage reached 80 per cent, demanding more federal money for the health system […]

According to data obtained by The Australian, however, major Queensland hospitals are already at capacity despite the low number of Covid-19 cases […]

“EDs are full, wards are full, ambulances are ramped and there are not enough staff,” [Dr Bonning] told The Australian. “Our members have told us there have been deaths in waiting rooms in Queensland. Patients have died as a result of delay in care.

This is all a consequence of a negligent premier who has recruited record numbers of public servants – but not doctors and nurses. Even when she knew Covid was threatening to break out at any time.

The Australian in early October revealed a discussion paper drawn up by top health officials from four states warned the hospital system was buckling under the strain – not only of Covid-19 but also routine care. The officials said the government should consider ­deploying GPs to hospital emergency departments to tackle workforce shortages […]

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said all states and territories had called for extra funding because of “unrelenting strain” on hospitals.

The Australian

In Western Australia, Australia’s hermit kingdom, premier Mark McGowan boasts about “the best budget performance in the world through the pandemic” and the state has been Covid-free for months. Yet WA’s hospitals are in “survival mode”, with staffing shortfalls of 30-50%. Victorian premier Daniel Andrews last year promised 4,000 new ICU beds: not one has eventuated.

Tasmania, to damn the Gutwein government with faint praise, has higher ICU capacity than the national average – and has increased its number of ventilators over the past 18 months.

From New Zealand to Western Australia to Italy, negligent governments are trying to pass off the blame for their own laziness and waste onto the China virus.

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Queensland Hospitals Collapsing — and COVID Has Nothing to Do with It

Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...