International mass gathering impact on Gold Coast Hospitals’ emergency departments

Grant ID: EMPJ-200R29-2018

Project Summary

Queensland is known for its ability to attract mass gathering events of international significance, such as the 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2032 Olympic Games. Such events have the potential to impact the normal operational capacity of our emergency health services.

The objective of this study is to describe the impact of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the emergency departments in the Gold Coast region. This research has two key aims, which align with two discrete but related studies:

Study 1 Aim: To describe and determine whether changes in patient, health service, and economic outcomes occur before, during and after the Commonwealth Games.
Study 2 Aim: To explore healthcare staff experience of planning, preparedness and lessons learnt from the Commonwealth Games.


Study findings regarding the impact of a large sporting mass gathering on public and private emergency departments will assist in the development of plans and guidance that emergency health clinicians, managers and policy developers will use for future mass gathering events of international significance in Queensland and globally, as well as response planning for other mass gatherings, sporting or otherwise.

Leveraged Funds

- Griffith University and Menzies Health Institute: $15,000
- Gold Coast Hospital Foundation: $52,878 [Crilly J, Ranse J, Aitken M, Walters B, Padowitz A, Arbon P, Hutton A, Johnston A, Zimmerman P, Ware R, Byrnes J, Romero B, Raftery C, Sutherland K, Wullschleger M. (2018). The impact of an international mass gathering (2018 Commonwealth Games) on Gold Coast hospitals emergency departments care delivery. ]
- Strategic Research Funding, Competitive Big Bid Scheme, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University: $5000 [Ranse J. (2018). Determining the impact of mass gathering events on emergency healthcare service usage and emergency healthcare provision. ]
- Australian Research Council: DE200100235, Jamie Ranse. Project Title: Impact of mass gathering events on emergency healthcare services: informing health service planning for safer communities, $422,241.00



- Qiu, Y.S., Crilly, J., Zimmerman, P.A. and Ranse, J., 2020. Evaluating the impact of a mass gathering (2018 Commonwealth Games) on emergency department presentations with communicable diseases: a retrospective cohort study. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 93, pp.305-310.

- Delany, C., Crilly, J., & Ranse, J. (2020). Drug and alcohol related patient presentations to emergency departments during sporting mass-gathering events: an integrative review. Prehospital and disaster medicine, 35(3), 298.

- Qiu, Y. S., Crilly, J., Zimmerman, P. A., & Ranse, J. (2020). The Impact of Mass Gatherings on Emergency Department Patient Presentations with Communicable Diseases Related to Syndromic Indicators: An Integrative Review. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 35(2), 206-211.

- Delany, C., Crilly, J. and Ranse, J., 2021. Drug‐and alcohol‐related emergency department patient presentations during the 2018 Commonwealth Games: A multi‐site retrospective analysis. Emergency medicine Australasia, 33(5), pp826-833.

Conference presentations:

- Ranse J. (2019). The 2018 Commonwealth Games Experience; invited speaker for 4th International Conference for Mass Gathering Medicine, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 16th December.

- Qiu Y, Crilly J, Zimmerman PA, Ranse J. (2019) A retrospective cohort study evaluating the impact of a mass gathering (the 2018 Commonwealth Games) on emergency department presentations with communicable diseases. Paper presented at the 36th ACEM Annual Scientific Meeting, Hobart, 18th November.

- Sutherland K. (2019). The 2018 Commonwealth Games; speaker at the 22nd World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine, Brisbane, 7th May.



Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
Dr Michael Aitken

Co Investigators:
Dr Michael Aitken
Prof Julia Crilly
Dr Jamie Ranse
Prof Paul Arbon
Prof Alison Hutton
Dr Anthony Padowitz
Dr Ben Walters
Dr Amy Johnston
Dr Peta-Anne Zimmerman

Associate Investigators:
Prof Robert Ware
A/Prof Josh Byrnes
Bernadine Romero
Chris Raftery
Kaylene Sutherland
Ms Catherine Delany


Collaborating Institutions


  • Channel 7 News story [5/11/19]
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