Posted on 24. Apr, 2013 in News
Victorians in life-threatening emergencies are waiting longer for ambulances placing lives at risk across every suburb in Melbourne under the Napthine Government, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said today.
Mr Andrews said the documents, obtained under freedom of information, demonstrate why one in four ambulances failed to meet the government’s own state-wide target of responding to life-threatening or code 1 emergencies within 15 minutes over the 2011/12 period.
“Before the last election, the Coalition said Victorians deserve the highest quality ambulance services and have the right to expect timely responses during emergencies,” Mr Andrews said.
“However, under Mr Napthine, the number of ambulances arriving at the scene of a life-threatening emergency within 15 minutes has dropped to 74.8 per cent, a blow-out of almost 6 per cent since 2010.
“These figures, from the second half of 2012, reveal that ambulances are taking longer to reach car accidents and heart attack victims in need of life-saving assistance.
“Not one metropolitan ambulance branch has improved the code 1 average response time since the Napthine Government was elected in 2010.”
Mr Andrews blamed the Napthine Government’s $616 million health funding cuts for the blow-out in ambulance response times.
“Delays in patient handover processes at hospitals are taking ambulances off the road for longer than ever before,” he said.
“Our ambulances are increasingly being used as pop-up emergency departments for hospitals that are struggling to cope with the Napthine Government’s savage health cuts.
“The ambulance ramping crisis is a window into just how gridlocked our hospitals have become under the Napthine Government.
“We need our ambulances available to attend emergencies, not sitting in queues created by a lack of hospital beds.
“Our ambulance paramedics do a great job under extreme pressure, but they’re being stretched to the limit by the Napthine Government.
“This all confirms what doctors, nurses and paramedics have been saying for a long time – our health system has never been as bad as it is under this Government.”