Ending The Ambulance Crisis: Best Response Times In Seven Years

01 May 2017

The Andrews Labor Government is fixing our ambulance service, with ambulance response times restored to what they were before the former Liberal Government trashed the service and went to war with our paramedics.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy today released the latest ambulance and hospital performance data, which show ambulance response times are the best in seven years.

The March quarter data shows that 80 per cent of Code One emergency calls were 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 and 2013, just 73 per cent of Code One ambulance response times met the 15 minute benchmark, meaning too many Victorians facing life-threatening emergencies waited too long for an ambulance.

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

This means on average, ambulances are arriving at the scene of life-threatening emergencies nearly a minute faster now than they were a year ago.

The Victorian Budget 2017/18 includes an additional $26.5 million to continue to improve response times and rebuild our ambulance service to meet the needs of our growing population.

Emergency helicopter services will also receive a boost as part of this funding, so that in a life-threatening situation, our air ambulances will be available, when and where Victorians need them.

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 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.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“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.”

“On average, our ambulances are arriving a minute earlier. In an emergency when seconds count, it’s an improvement that can make all the difference.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“It’s taken seven years to undo the damage, but the ambulance crisis is now a thing of the past.”

“With the best response times in seven years, Victorian families can now have confidence that in an emergency they’ll get the life-saving care they need, when they need it.”

“We’re performing more surgeries and treating and admitting more patients than ever before despite record demand on our health system.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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