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News Archive

Thursday, 2 February 2017


Victorian hospitals have experienced unprecedented demand with 443,084 patients presenting at emergency departments across Victoria over the summer months the latest health performance data shows.

This is a 24 per cent increase in the last six years, with more than a third of these patients needing to be admitted to hospital – the highest number ever.

Last November’s unprecedented thunderstorm asthma event pushed hospital emergency departments to the limit, but this latest data confirms our doctors, nurses and paramedics rose to the challenge.

The number of hospital emergency arrivals at affected hospitals spiked at 9909 across 21 and 22 November with the thunderstorm asthma event.

Ambulance Victoria analysis indicates that its state-wide December quarter response times are slightly above the previous three months, but without the surge in callouts for the thunderstorm asthma would have remained steady.

Hospital emergency department attendances also climbed as a result of the respiratory illness surge, but on most measures were an improvement on the previous three months.

The Andrews Labor Government’s record investment in ambulances and our health system is paying dividends, with elective surgery waiting times and ambulance response times an improvement compared to a year earlier.

Locally, Bendigo Health is performing well in a range of key areas.

  • Admitted 10,490 patients in the 3 months to the end of December – up from 10,203 admissions in the same period a year earlier.
  • Saw 12,691 patients who presented to the emergency department in the 3 months to the end of December – up from 12,082 presentations in the previous quarter.
  • Treated 100% of the 125 Category 1 emergency patients immediately on arrival at the hospital ED in the 3 months to the end of December.
  • Completed the transfer of 92.4% of patients who arrived at the hospital in an ambulance in the December quarter within the target of 40 minutes, up on its 86.9% transfer rate in the December 2015 quarter and better than the State-wide benchmark of 90%.
  • Provided operations within the benchmark 30 days for 100% of the hospital’s 412 Category 1 urgent elective surgery patients in the December quarter.
  • Treated half of the hospital’s Category 1 elective surgery patients within 13 days – well under the 30-day benchmark.

Ambulance Victoria data confirms people in the City of Greater Bendigo can have confidence that in an emergency, they will get the care they need, quickly.

The average time for an ambulance to reach the scene of a Code 1 accident or emergency in the City of Greater Bendigo has improved, to 13:25 minutes in the December quarter from 13:35 minutes a year earlier.

Over the same period, the proportion of ambulances which arrived within the benchmark 15 minutes for the most time-critical patients – including cardiac arrest, heart attack, major trauma and stroke patients – improved from 73.6 per cent to 75.3 per cent.

Our $500 million plan to improve response times – the biggest ever investment in ambulance services – will employ 450 more paramedics, buy new vehicles and build new ambulance stations across the state.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“These latest figures confirm all Victorians can have confidence in our hospitals, doctors, nurses and paramedics – they have done an exceptional job rising to the challenge of thunderstorm asthma, and the tragic Bourke Street incident.”

“We have never experienced such demand on our health system, but we are treating and caring for more patients than ever before.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan

“Our record investment in health and the new Bendigo Hospital starting operation last week means more patients in Bendigo will get the care, treatment and surgery they need sooner.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards

 “With more paramedics on the road, ambulances will be able to respond to life threatening emergencies in Bendigo even more quickly.”


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