Campaign To Save Lives By Saving 000 For Emergencies

28 January 2018

The next phase of the Andrews Labor Government’s campaign ‘Save lives: Save 000 for emergencies’ will hit TV screens today, helping paramedics to respond faster and save more lives.

Acting Minister for Ambulance Services Jenny Mikakos today launched the campaign to encourage Victorians to remember the available healthcare services when they are unwell or have a minor injury.

The new campaign highlights the “team” of healthcare professionals who are ready and able to manage non-urgent health care issues, round-the-clock.

The campaign aims to reduce the number of non-emergency calls to 000. When an ambulance responds to a non-emergency, it takes paramedics away from time critical, life-threatening emergencies.

In 2015/16, calls for ambulances grew by 5.7 per cent, while the population of Victoria grew by 1.7 per cent.

The first phase of the campaign featured the story of Will, a young boy whose life was saved by local and Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) paramedics. Will’s life was saved because a MICA paramedic was available and not tied up with non-emergency calls.

Since the campaign, research shows 80 per cent of Victorians believe using an ambulance for a non-emergency is a misuse of the system, an increase from 73 per cent.

If Victorians feel unwell or have a minor injury, they should contact their local GPs. They can also see a pharmacist for questions on general health or call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24 for immediate and expert advice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Government is delivering on a $500 million plan to improve ambulance response times, employing 450 more paramedics, buying new vehicles and building more ambulance stations across the state.

This investment, along with a further $26.5 million in the Victorian Budget 2017/18, is the largest funding boost ever delivered for Victoria’s ambulance services. This is helping to save lives.

In the last quarter, Code 1 ambulance response times across Victoria were the best in eight years, with ambulances across the state getting to life threatening emergencies 35 seconds faster than they were last year.

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Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Ambulance Services Jenny Mikakos

“We want Victorians to have confidence that in an emergency they will get the care they need, when they need it.”

“There’s not a second to waste in an emergency. When an ambulance is called to a non-emergency, it puts the lives of others at risk.”

“Victorians are fortunate to have so much choice in healthcare. For advice and immediate treatment there are experienced GPs, pharmacists and registered nurses available to assist.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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