Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Victoria’s public hospitals continue to see record demand with huge numbers of patients calling ambulances, attending emergency departments and being admitted to hospital from EDs over the past three months.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Jenny Mikakos has released the hospital and ambulance performance data for the December quarter and thanked our hard-working doctors, nurses, paramedics and other medical staff for their efforts caring for record numbers of patients.

Victorian emergency departments saw a record 479,163 patients this quarter while maintaining high levels of care, with 100 per cent of Category 1 presentations treated immediately on arrival.

The West Gippsland Hospital has continued to perform strongly in treating and caring for patients. In the December quarter West Gippsland Hospital:

  • Admitted 3825 patients in the three months to the end of December – 260 more than a year earlier.
  • Admitted 1193 patients through the emergency department in the three months to the end of December – 264 more than a year earlier.
  • Admitted 2053 patients for same-day treatment in the three months to the end of December – up by 176 on a year earlier.
  • Saw 6271 patients in the ED for the December quarter – up by 214 on the previous three months.
  • Treated 100% of Category 1 emergency patients immediately upon arrival at the ED.
  • Transferred 92.8% of ambulance arrivals to the ED within the benchmark 40 minutes – well up on the State-wide average of 75.6%.
  • Provided operations to 100% of the Category 1 urgent elective surgery patients within the benchmark 30 days, half of them within 13 days – a day faster than the September quarter.

Across the State, half of all ambulance transfers to hospital were completed within 23 minutes – well below the benchmark target of 40 minutes.

Victorian elective surgery patients are also being seen sooner than in anywhere else in Australia, with national data confirming our public hospitals are leading the nation when it comes to treatment time.

In the December quarter, of the Category 1 elective surgery patients who require treatment within 30 days – half received their procedure within 10 days, helping them get back on their feet sooner.

The Andrews Labor Government’s reforms to outpatient and specialist clinics has also led to sustained improvement in wait times, with half of all urgent first appointments seen within 16 days – matching the record achieved last quarter. Clinic visits have been boosted by the Labor Government’s $136.2 million investment in 500,000 specialist appointments in regional Victoria.

Victoria’s ambulances transported a massive 78,820 emergency patients in the three months to the end of December – 4,513 more than a year earlier. Paramedics reached 82.5 per cent of Code 1 cases across the state within the benchmark 15 minutes, with an average response time of 11 minutes and 29 seconds.

That’s nearly two minutes faster than the same period in 2014, when the Liberals’ war with paramedics saw just 74.1 per cent of ambulances arriving within 15 minutes.

In the Baw Baw Shire, 67.6% of Code 1 ambulances arrived on scene within 15 minutes in the December quarter. Ambulances attended 726 call-outs, up from 623 a year earlier.

Baw Baw’s Code 1 ambulances arrived in an average 14 minutes 20 seconds.

The 67.6% arrival rate contrasts with just 46% under the Liberals in the same quarter in 2014, when the arrival time was an average 19:27.

This year, the Labor Government delivered a $2.5 billion boost to hospitals’ operating budgets and is getting on with delivering a huge $7 billion pipeline of hospital projects to back hospitals to do what they do best.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“I thank our dedicated doctors, nurses, paramedics and hospital staff in West Gippsland and Baw Baw Shire who are caring for more patients than ever, with record numbers of ambulance call-outs, emergency department presentations and hospital admissions.”

“Victorians waiting for elective surgery are being seen sooner than anywhere else in Australia and our big boost to specialist appointments means more regional patients are getting specialist care closer to home.”

“We’re so proud of our hardworking hospital staff and local paramedics who are reaching ill and injured Victorians four minutes faster on average than they did under the Liberals – our record investment into better healthcare is translating directly into improved performance and faster treatment for people when they need it most.”