Posted on 03. Dec, 2012 in News

Documents obtained by the State Opposition under Freedom of Information reveal that ambulances are being taken off the road and ‘ramped’ outside some Victorian hospitals for more than 1,000 hours per month, Labor’s Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Wade Noonan MP, said today.

Mr Noonan said the ambulance ramping was a symptom of a health system struggling under the weight of Mr Baillieu’s savage budget cuts.

“We need our ambulances available to attend emergencies, not sitting in queues created by a lack of hospital beds,” Mr Noonan said.

“These ramping times for the most recent financial year reveal that our highly skilled paramedics are being parked outside Victorian hospitals for longer than ever before because the Victorian health system has become gridlocked under the Baillieu Government.

“Longer ramping times at hospitals means patients are waiting longer to get into hospital and there are fewer ambulances available to respond to life-threatening emergencies – this places lives at risk.

“The recent Ambulance Victoria annual report revealed just how bad the ramping problem had become with one in four ambulances failing to respond to life-threatening emergencies within the Baillieu Government’s own state-wide target of 15 minutes.”

Mr Noonan blamed the Baillieu Government’s $616 million health funding cuts for the blow-out in ambulance ramping times.

“Ambulances are being parked up with patients outside emergency departments across Melbourne because there is a lack of capacity in our hospital system,” he said.

“Before the election, the Baillieu Government told Victorians they would deliver 800 new beds and, by June this year, there would be 100 already in the system.

“If the Premier had delivered these beds, hospitals wouldn’t have to force ambulances to wait outside for beds to become free.

“The Baillieu Government should stop blaming others for their failings and get on with the job of providing an effective ambulance service for the people of Victoria.”

Total transfer time in hours per hospital (with comparison to 09/10)

Hospital 2009/10 2011/12 Increase
Angliss Hospital 93 hours per month 125 hours per month 33% increase
Austin Hospital 618 hours per month 987 hours per month 59% increase
Ballarat Hospital 70 hours per month 122 hours per month 74% increase
Barwon Hospital 301 hours per month 411 hours per month 36% increase
Box Hill Hospital 421 hours per month 546 hours per month 29% increase
Casey Hospital 193 hours per month 309 hours per month 60% increase
Dandenong Hospital 556 hours per month 917 hours per month 64% increase
Frankston Hospital 709 hours per month 1,064 hours per month 50% increase
Goulburn Valley Health Shepparton 108 hours per month 197 hours per month 82% increase
Latrobe Regional Hospital 52 hours per month 161 hours per month 207% increase
Maroondah Hospital 388 hours per month 473 hours per month 21% increase
Monash Medical Centre 853 hours per month 1,058 hours per month 23% increase
Rosebud Hospital 75 hours per month 81 hours per month 8% increase
Royal Childrens Hospital 99 hours per month 153 hours per month 53% increase
Royal Melbourne Hospital 719 hours per month 945 hours per month 31% increase
Sandringham Hospital 59 hours per month 82 hours per month 39% increase
St Vincents Hospital 338 hours per month 532 hours per month 57% increase
Sunshine Hospital 241 hours per month 390 hours per month 61% increase
The Northern Hospital 473 hours per month 661 hours per month 39% increase
Werribee Mercy Hospital 69 hours per month 108 hours per month 55% increase
West Gippsland Healthcare 22 hours per month 54 hours per month 139% increase
Western Hospital 307 hours per month 563 hours per month 83% increase

Note – Original FOI from Ambulance Victoria has been converted from minutes to hours

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