Hundreds more paramedics will be employed as part of a new Andrews Labor Government $500 million plan to improve ambulance response times.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy today announced the record funding – the biggest ever investment in ambulance services – to employ 450 more paramedics, put more new ambulances on the road and build 15 new and upgraded stations across Victoria.
At the heart of the plan will be the establishment of six new super ambulance response centres, housing more than 200 paramedics, to meet the huge and growing demand in Melbourne’s outer suburbs.
This investment will ensure our paramedics are better supported to respond to large scale health emergencies, such as natural disasters, and to everyday medical emergencies.
With more patients than ever presenting at hospitals, the plan also includes $50 million for emergency departments so more patients are treated and admitted quickly, freeing up our ambulances to get back on the road sooner.
To better meet the challenges of providing emergency care in regional and rural communities, we will roll out additional paramedic and vehicle resources in 12 new rural locations to make sure families get an ambulance when they need one.
Since coming to government, we’ve been working hard every day to rebuild our ambulance system after four years of crisis and neglect under the Liberals.
Now, after two years of investing in and reforming our ambulance system, more ambulances are arriving at emergencies sooner – with Code 1 average response times the quickest they have been in five years.
Ambulances are now arriving at 76.6 per cent of Code 1 incidents within 15 minutes, compared to a record low of 73 per cent at the height of the Liberals’ ambulance crisis. But we still need to do more.
In order to continue to improve response times, our new $500 million package includes:
- Employing 450 new paramedics over the next three years
- Establishing six new ‘super response centres’ supported by more than 200 paramedics to meet growing demand in Melbourne’s suburbs including the west, the outer north-west, the north, the north-east, outer east and south-east
- Building new or upgrading 15 branches across the state, on top the 20 upgrade projects already underway
- Deploying 225 new paramedics in 22 branches across the state, assessed as highest priority and in need of further resources to meet local demand
- Purchasing new ambulance vehicles and equipment to support the additional paramedic teams
- Creating 12 new services in rural and remote towns with a local paramedic and vehicle, based on a successful model trialled at Wedderburn and Warracknabeal
- Treating more patients in emergency departments sooner with a $50 million boost to hire more clinicians and open more beds
This funding is on top of the $144 million provided in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, which included the $60 million Response Time Rescue Fund to improve ambulance response times.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We’re putting people first with biggest ever investment in Victoria’s history to cut ambulance response times even further and save more lives.”
“Response times are the best they have been in five years, but there’s still more work to do.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy
“Instead of waging war against paramedics like the Liberals did, we’re working hand-in-hand with paramedics to keep improving ambulance response times.”
“We know that in an emergency every second counts. That’s why we’re giving our paramedics the new resources they need, where they are needed most, so that whatever the situation, I want Victorians to have confidence that in an emergency they will get the care and treatment they need, when they need it.”