Thursday, 2 November 2017

Ambulances are responding faster to life threatening medical emergencies in the Latrobe Valley despite massive demand from one of Victoria’s worst-ever flu seasons, with the best quarter one response time in eight years across Victoria.

The latest performance data released today shows the Andrews Labor Government’s ambulance reforms and funding boosts are delivering record results for Victorians.

Ambulances across the state were getting to life threatening emergencies 35 seconds faster compared to last year, with 79.5 per cent of Code One callouts arriving within the target 15 minutes despite a horrific flu season.

This means Code One ambulances are now arriving one minute and 34 seconds faster compared to this quarter three years ago, when response times under the Liberals blew out to the worst September quarter on record.

In the Latrobe City Council, response times are improving, with 77.2 per cent of ambulances now arriving within 15 minutes for Code One emergencies, up from 67.4 per cent compared to the same time last year.

That means the average response time for an ambulance to reach the scene of a Code One emergency in the Latrobe City Council has improved from 14:10 minutes to 12:06 minutes.

This year’s flu season put significant pressure on our hospitals, with respiratory presentations to our emergency departments almost 20 per cent higher than for the same time last year.

A record 454,018 patients attended Victorian hospital emergency departments this quarter, putting unprecedented demand on our emergency services with an increase of 32,486 patients or 7.7 per cent compared to last year.

Despite this intense pressure, the data shows our hospitals are working more efficiently, with the most urgent cases being treated sooner.

Last quarter, the highest percentage of patients across all categories received their surgeries within benchmarks for timeliness for a first quarter. This meant median wait times for category three patients reduced by over six weeks since the same time four years ago.

Locally, Latrobe Regional Hospital has:

• Seen 8,869 people in emergency between July and September 2017 compared to 8,255 in the same period in 2016.

• Treated 100 per cent of the 42 category 1 emergency patients immediately on arrival between July and September 2017.

• Received 2,701 ambulance arrivals in the September quarter compared to 2,276 for the same period in 2016.

• Provided operations for 97.2 per cent of all elective surgery patients within the benchmark times in the September quarter.

To give hospitals and bush nursing centres relief from the massive surge in demand, the Labor Government last month announced a special $115 million boost for our hospitals to fight this year’s unprecedented flu season, and ensure more patients can receive the care they need when they need it, for the remainder of the year.

These record results stand in stark contrast to the former Liberal Government – who went to war with our paramedics and slashed $1 billion from our health system, leaving patients waiting too long for life saving care and languishing on waiting lists.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“These results show our health system is working together – more efficiently – to get to more patients, on time, and deliver high quality, safe care.”

“Our reforms and investment means ambulances response times continued to improve despite big increases in call-outs.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“The Andrews Labor Government’s reforms and investment meant that ambulances response times actually improved despite big increases in call-outs in the Latrobe Valley.”