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Monday, 1 May 2017

ENDING THE AMBULANCE CRISIS: FASTER RESPONSE TIMES FOR BENDIGO

The Andrews Labor Government has repaired the damage inflicted on our ambulance service by the former Liberal Government, with state-wide ambulance response times restored to what they were before the Liberals went to war with our paramedics.

The latest ambulance and hospital performance data show ambulance response times are the best in seven years, with 80 per cent of Code One emergency calls responded to within the target of 15 minutes – the first time it has reached that mark since the former Labor Government was in power in 2010.

During the height of the previous Liberal Government’s ambulance crisis in 2012/13, just 73 per cent of Code One ambulance response times met the 15 minute benchmark, meaning too many Victorians in life-threatening emergencies waited too long for an ambulance.

Over the past 12 months, thanks to the Labor Government’s record investment in, and reform of, our ambulance service, response times have improved from 75.6 per cent of Code One calls meeting the 15 minute benchmark, to 80 per cent.

In Bendigo, we are seeing significant improvement, with 75.2 per cent of ambulances now arriving within 15 minutes for Code One emergencies, up from 74 per cent this time last year.

This means the average time for an ambulance to reach the scene of a Code One emergency in Bendigo over the same period has improved from 13:42 minutes to 13:04.

The Victorian Budget 2017/18 includes an additional $26.5 million to continue to improve response times and rebuild our ambulance service.

The funding in the Budget will build on our $500 million plan to improve ambulance response times – the biggest ever investment in ambulance services – which is employing 450 more paramedics, buying new vehicles and building new ambulance stations across the state.

Already, as a result of this investment, an additional 127 full-time equivalent, highly-skilled paramedics are now trained up and on the road, ready to respond to life-threatening emergencies and save lives.

And we are seeing improvements across our health system, with less patients waiting for surgery and the March quarter delivering the best ever state-wide emergency department performance since the ‘four hour target’ was introduced.

The latest data shows 74.4 per cent of patients were admitted or treated and sent home within four hours, a huge improvement from the record low of 61.7 per cent in 2011 when the Liberals were slashing health funding.

 

For Bendigo Hospital, we are seeing positive results. The hospital:

  • Admitted 10,163 patients in the 3 months to the end of March – up from 9774 admissions in the same period a year earlier.
  • Admitted 3699 emergency patients in the 3 months to the end of March – up from 3546 emergency admissions a year earlier.
  • Saw 12,469 patients who presented to the emergency department in the 3 months to the end of March – up from 12,023 presentations in the same quarter in 2016.
  • Treated half of the hospital’s Category 1 elective surgery patients within 15 days in the March quarter – well under the 30-day benchmark.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“We said we would end the ambulance crisis and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

“It’s simple. Instead of going to war with our paramedics and slashing funding, we’re investing in more paramedics, more ambulances and more branches.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan

“The ambulance crisis is now a thing of the past. With the response times continuing to improve, families in Bendigo can now have confidence that in an emergency they’ll get the life-saving care they need, when they need it.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards

“Here in Bendigo we’re investing so we can continue to perform more surgeries and treat and admit more patients than ever before despite record demand on our health system.”

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