The Victorian Auditor-General’s report into Emergency Services Response Times, tabled in the Parliament today, is the latest evidence of the ambulance crisis left behind by the Liberals.
This report follows the release of the Interim Report of the Ambulance Performance and Policy Consultative Committee by the Premier and Minister for Ambulance Services earlier this week.
The Auditor-General’s report investigated the extent to which emergency services agencies, including Ambulance Victoria, were accountable for their response time performance between 1 January 2012 and 30 June 2014.
It found, as did the Committee’s Interim Report, that Ambulance Victoria’s response time performance has fallen dramatically over recent years. During this period, the average time taken for paramedics to respond to 90 per cent of Code 1 cases was 22.4 minutes, compared to 19 minutes in July 2009.
The report also found that there was significant variation in response performance by local government area, and recommends improved transparency and public reporting on response times.
The Auditor-General notes that, in December last year, Ambulance Victoria released information about regional level response times for the first time. This data had been kept secret under the Liberals. One of the first actions of the Andrews Labor Government was to release this information.
The Ambulance Performance and Policy Consultative Committee’s Interim Report provides even more data about response times by local government area, branch and locality.
The Auditor-General’s Report also recommends that there be greater focus on emergency response time reporting on highest priority areas.
This aligns with concerns raised in the Committee’s Interim Report that public demand for emergency ambulance services has increased 5 per cent over the past six years, and that, in recent years, almost 60 per cent of all emergency incidents were classified as Code 1, but on arrival paramedics found that a Code 1 response was not required.
Since Day One, the Andrews Labor Government has been working hard to fix the ambulance crisis left behind by the Liberals. The Ambulance Performance and Policy Committee is now seeking feedback on the report from paramedics and the community, with final recommendations to be provided to the Government by the end of the year.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services, Jill Hennessy
“This Auditor-General’s report reiterates the fact that ambulance response times have deteriorated in recent years.”
“The Auditor-General has called for greater transparency about ambulance response times, and that’s exactly what this Government has done. We’ve released data that was kept secret under the Liberals, and, in the recent Interim Report of the APPCC, released even more.”
“We’re working with paramedics, not against them, to fix the ambulance crisis, so that they can do what they do best – save lives.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020