There are no empty beds left in adult emergency departments in southeast Queensland but the state government says the public health system is not in crisis.
It is now leaning on the private system for beds, a measure health officials take every winter when flu cases surge.
Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Health Minister Steven Miles said an unseasonal and unprecedented bump in demand led to beds being full in ten hospitals on Tuesday and Wednesday.
They blamed the flu, a longer, hotter summer, and the federal government.
And they released $3 million in emergency funds to deal with what they say falls short of a catastrophe.
"What we're seeing is unusual," Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Wednesday.
She told parliament hospitals in the state's southeast are strained because 650 people who belong in aged care or have a disability are ready to be discharged but have nowhere to go.
That, she says, is the federal government's responsibility.
But the state's chief health officer Jeanette Young said a similar scenario plays out each winter, and the health officials would do nothing different to prevent a repeat in coming months.
"We will use exactly the same strategies for winter," Dr Young said.
"They've worked very effectively here, we know they work because we do them every single winter, so we'll be doing them again this winter."
Liberal National Party MPs laughed when the health minister told parliament the throng of patients presenting to emergency departments was unrivalled.
"We have a Queensland health system in crisis, where we've got southeast Queensland hospitals reaching breaking point, and yet we've got a premier with no plan to fix it," party leader Deb Frecklington said.
President of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine Simon Judkins said the current system is risking patient safety.
He pointed to the case of a 23-year-old man who was charged with assault after allegedly stabbing two Logan Hospital security guards at the weekend while seeking emergency mental health care.
"Incidents like this have to drive real change, and more needs to be done to understand the causes of violence in emergency departments and to resource emergency departments to prevent violence and minimise its impact," he said.
Australian Associated Press