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ABC News
ABC News
Baz Ruddick and staff

Queensland records six COVID-19 deaths, 3,750 new cases

Queensland Chief Health Officer John Gerrard with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. (ABC News: Tara Cassidy)

Queensland has recorded six COVID-19 deaths and 3,750 new cases in the latest reporting period.

Of the deaths one person was in their 50s, one in their 60s, one in their 80s and two in their 90s. Three were in aged care.

There are currently 484 people in public hospitals, 40 people in ICU and 20 people on ventilators.

The total number of COVID deaths in aged care facilities has now reached 200 in Queensland.

Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said there had not been a significant increase in cases in school aged children, since face-to-face learning had resumed.

"Five hundred and twenty-seven in the 5 to 11 age group, and 436 in the 12 to 17 age group."

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said the time was "getting closer" when the daily press conferences on case numbers would no longer be needed. 

"Not quite there yet but I think we're very close if we continue to see this trend happening for the next few days," she said.

She said there has also been a decline in health workers who were in isolation, either with the virus or as close contacts.

"We now have 1,745 staff across Queensland Ambulance Service and our hospital and health services that are isolating and quarantining," she said.

Seventh satellite hospital announced

It comes as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the government had purchased the site of Queensland's seventh satellite hospital at Eight Mile Plains in Brisbane's south.

"This is to ease our pressure on our bigger hospitals and have them located closer to where people live" she said.

The new hospitals are part of a $265 million state government commitment to deliver seven new facilities to support public healthcare delivery in rapidly growing communities across south-east Queensland.

Ms D'Ath said construction would begin later in the year and the satellite hospitals would be operational in 2023.

"There are many, many health services that we deliver inside our major hospitals that don't need to be there — outpatients, dialysis, oncology, minor injuries — these things can be done closer to the communities in other facilities such as these satellite hospitals that free up space in our big hospitals," she said.

"I am very confident that this will make a big impact on our hospital system and take pressure off our hospitals at a time where we know the demand is increasing constantly."

The hospitals will be built at Eight Mile Plains, Caboolture, Redlands, Pine Rivers, Tugun, Bribie Island and Ripley.

'Just opening new chairs', not beds

However, Australian Medical Association Queensland (AMAQ) president Dr Chris Perry said that, while he applauded money being spent on health, it would do little to ease ongoing pressures on an "overburdened" system.

"We are yet to find out how good they are — it is adding no more beds to the public hospital system, not going to do anything for ramping in public hospitals either — they are just opening new chairs," he said.

Dr Perry said Queensland's health crisis would only be remedied by the addition of 1,500 new, full-time beds, at a cost of $1 billion a year.

"Because the community needs a hospital system that is fit for purpose and the right size," Dr Perry said.

Dr Chris Perry says Queensland's health crisis will only be remedied by adding 1,500 new full-time beds. (ABC News: Michael Lloyd)

He said he was also concerned about the "political spin" around naming the new hubs as satellite hospitals, which he maintained were really just clinics.

Dr Perry has also questioned the timing of the announcement, days after an outcry over a pharmacy drug trial allowing pharmacists to prescribe medications.

"With the universal criticism of this ill-conceived, dangerous trial — which is playing with the lives of Queenslanders — they are putting this out to deflect that," he said.

Data shows many older Australians haven't had their booster
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