Posted on 31. Jan, 2013 in News
A Productivity Commission report has outlined that ambulance response times for life-threatening code 1 emergencies across Melbourne and Victoria are going backwards at an alarming rate under the Baillieu Government.
Labor’s Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Wade Noonan said the 2013 Productivity Commission’s report into Government Services was the latest piece of evidence that the ambulance system in Victoria was struggling to cope.
“These are an extremely disturbing set of figures which demonstrate that the ambulance service is caught in a downward spiral under the Baillieu Government,” Mr Noonan said.
“Melburnians could reasonably expect an ambulance to arrive in about 15 minutes when Labor was in Government, but under Mr Baillieu, waiting times have blown out to almost 19 minutes.
“The situation across Victoria is not much better, with statewide response times for life-threatening call-outs increasing to 22 minutes for 90 per cent of cases during the 2011-12 period, which is more than 2 minutes longer than when the Baillieu Government took office.
“Put simply, the Productivity Commission has said over the last two years, ambulances are taking longer to reach people requiring life-saving assistance across Melbourne and Victoria.”
Mr Noonan said that every minute counts when it comes to ambulance response times and the speed in which an ambulance arrived could be the difference between life and death for some Victorians.
“Before the last election the Baillieu Government said that Victorians deserve the highest quality ambulance services and have the right to expect timely responses during emergencies.
“However, now in Government, ambulance response times are going backwards and placing Victorian lives at risk.
“Ambulance Victoria has said that response times are growing longer because ambulances are waiting longer at hospitals to transfer their patients, pointing to a health system in gridlock.
“The Baillieu Government’s $616 million cuts to the Victorian health system are clearly having an impact and it is having a negative impact on frontline services such as ambulances.
“Not only will people have to wait longer to access basic healthcare services under the Baillieu Government, they’ll have to wait longer for an ambulance too.
“Our ambulance paramedics do a great job under extreme pressure, but at the moment they are being stretched to the limit.”