Ambulance Blitz To Further Improve Response Times

The Andrews Labor Government is investing an additional $144 million to fix the ambulance system after four years of crisis so Victorians can have confidence that in an emergency they will get the care they need, quickly.

The funding boost, provided in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, includes the $60 million Response Rescue Fund to provide better, faster responses and make sure our ambulances are responding to the right patient, at the right time, with the right care.

This investment comes as the latest ambulance and hospital performance data, released today, shows ambulance response times have continued to improve across the state.

The data for the March 2016 quarter shows average ambulance response times for Code One emergencies improved by 5 seconds, compared to the same period last year.

This improvement is despite an increase in the number of ambulance call outs compared to this time last year.

The data also shows more patients were treated in our hospitals, emergency departments and in our operating theatres compared to this time last year.

Despite ever increasing demand on our doctors, nurses and paramedics, emergency department performance has remained stable.

Only 30 patients waited in emergency departments for more than 24 hours – the lowest number ever. Under the former Liberal Government, the number of patients waiting for more than 24 hours blew out to more than 1,150.

We know we still have more to do to get this number to zero, and to meet community expectations and targets.

That’s why the Budget includes the largest ever increase in health funding to rebuild our health system after four years of cuts and neglect under the former Liberal Government, and to protect our hospitals against sustained cuts from the Federal Liberal Government.

Last year we invested $2.1 billion in our health system, and the Victorian Budget 2016/17 continues to build on this with a record $2.45 billion extra funding to make sure patients receive the care, treatment and surgeries they need sooner.

This sustained investment is beginning to deliver results, with a reduction in the number of people waiting for elective surgery.

The number of patients waiting for elective surgery has reduced by more than 1,000 compared to the previous quarter.

With nearly 200,000 Victorians set to receive their surgery this year thanks to the largest ever one-off boost for elective surgery in the Budget, this number should reduce even further.

Those patients waiting the longest, with the most complex surgeries, will be prioritised.

As part of this package, hospitals across Victoria are also sharing in a funding boost to build new theatres, open more beds and buy more equipment so they can treat more patients, more quickly.

The Victorian Health Services Performance Report is available at http://performance.health.vic.gov.au

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“Our $144 million investment in our ambulance system will drive further improvements in response times, and give Victorians the confidence that in an emergency they will get the care they need, when they need it.”

“The latest performance data confirms that our hospitals are working hard and treating more patients despite funding being ripped away from them by the Federal Liberal Government.”

“We know we have more to do to improve emergency department performance, and reduce elective surgery waiting lists after they blew out under the former Government – that’s why this year’s Budget includes the largest ever increase in health funding.”

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