Little improvement to ambulance response times
MEMBER for Lowan and Shadow Minister for Country Health, Emma Kealy MP says that despite claims by the State Government of the best ambulance response times in nine years, Lowan residents continue to have some of the longest waiting times in Victoria.
The current state government has set an ambulance response time target of within 15 minutes for Code One callouts. Code One callouts are patients requiring urgent paramedic and hospital care and a ‘lights and sirens’ response.
Paramedics responded to 66,225 Code-1 patients in the ?rst three months of 2018; an
extra 4,104 patients than the same period in 2017.
Even with the increased demand, paramedics reached 83.0 percent of Code 1 patients across the state within the critical target of 15 minutes in the ?rst three months of 2018 an improvement of 3.0 percentage points on same period last year.
Unfortunately there is no uniformity across the state, and the best times are still recorded
in large metropolitan areas.
Slowest Statistics released by Ambulance Victoria show the Yarriambiack, West Wimmera
and Hindmarsh Local Government Areas remain amongst the slowest in the State for Code One callouts with an average response time of 24.13, 23.13 and 21.59 minutes respectively, well above the State target.
“The Andrews Labour Government is claiming their reforms are delivering record ambulance response time results for Victorians and yet Ararat, Hindmarsh, Moyne,
Southern Grampians, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack LGAs have average response
times well above the State target,” Ms Kealy said.
“It doesn’t matter where you live, every minute counts when you need an ambulance.
“Our paramedics and ambulance community of?cers are working exceptionally hard and doing their very best in challenging circumstances. No improvements
“But western Victorian residents are not experiencing the same improvements in ambulance services as those in inner Melbourne and major regional centres and continue to be forgotten by Daniel Andrews.
“The state government must act immediately to provide the resources and support our paramedics need to ensure our local people can access emergency medical treatment,” she said.
These ?gures are a stark contrast to those experienced by the public in metropolitan areas with some area’s average wait times as small as 8.49 minutes for the
Melbourne LGA and is also an improvement on the previous quarter and the percentage of
Code One call outs responded to within the 15 minutes above 90 percent in the metropolitan regions.
“Western Victorian residents are not experiencing the same improvements in ambulance services as those in inner Melbourne and major regional centres and continue to be forgotten by Daniel Andrews,” Ms Kealy said.
Code 1 response times:
• Yarriambiack average wait time is 24.13, up from the previous quarter by just under
two minutes; previous quarter the wait was 22.18 minutes
• West Wimmera average wait time is 23.13, up from the previous quarter by slightly under three minutes; previous quarter wait time was 20.27 minutes
• Hindmarsh average wait time is 21.59 minutes which is just over two minutes slower;
the previous quarter wait time was 19.46 minutes
The news is slightly better for West Wimmera and Hindmarsh resident requiring an ambulance for non-urgent transfers with wait times lowering slightly in each shire:
• West Wimmera the average wait time is now 24.59 minutes, a massive 7.62 minutes lower
• Hindmarsh average wait time is now 3.26 minutes lower than the previous quarter
Yarriambiack Shire residents still face a wait time signi?cantly more than other areas in the state waiting 36.23 minutes; just over two minutes longer than the last quarter.
It is still in the bottom three shire areas, with only Buloke (40.16 minutes) and Gannawarra (40.46 minutes) with longer waits.