Thursday, 1 August 2019

Victoria’s hospitals and paramedics are rising to the challenge of record demand caused by a busy flu season, the latest performance data shows.

Across the state, ambulances recorded the best ever response for the quarter, despite responding to more than 8,500 extra Code 1 emergency patients than the same quarter a year earlier.

In the City of Latrobe, ambulances arrived within an average of 10:52 minutes during the June quarter – an improvement compared with 11:24 for the same period 12 months prior.

The data shows 83 per cent of Latrobe’s Code 1 ambulances arrived within 15 minutes – better than the 80.8 per cent a year prior. Ambulances are also turning out to more emergencies. In the City of Latrobe, ambulances responded to 1579 Code 1 cases, up on the 1330 responses in the June quarter 2018.

Across the state, hospital emergency departments saw nearly 32,000 extra patients compared with the same quarter last year. The Latrobe Regional Hospital treated 100 per cent of its Category 1 emergency patients immediately upon arrival at the hospital. The hospital also:

  • Treated 10,705 patients in the busy emergency department in the June quarter – 1412 more than the same period a year earlier
  • Reduced its elective surgery waiting lists to 1091 patients – down from 1203 the previous quarter
  • Operated on more than half of Category 1 urgent elective surgery patients within 13 days – well under the 30-day benchmark
  • Treated more than half of all elective surgery patients within 28 days – five days faster than three months earlier.

The busy flu season has put enormous strain on our nurses, doctors and paramedics. Already, there have been more than 40,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza across the state, including 10,000 children and more than 70 deaths.

That’s why we’re backing our health services with a record $12.2 billion investment, including a record $2.5 billion in the Victorian Budget 2019/20.

The Andrews Labor Government is stepping up its fight against the flu, making the flu vaccination compulsory for frontline staff in hospital wards.

The Government is working with health experts, unions and hospitals on new rules that ensure nurses, doctors and other staff are fully vaccinated against a host of diseases, including the flu.

High-risk areas such as Intensive Care Units, Neonatal Intensive Care Units and cancer wards will all become areas staff must be vaccinated. Workers who refuse to be vaccinated will be redeployed to other parts of the hospital.

Quote attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“The flu season has hit hard and hit early, but our nurses, doctors and paramedics in Gippsland have done an exceptional job rising to the challenge.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“There’s no doubt about it – vaccinations are safe, effective and save lives. That’s why we’re taking action to make sure health workers and patients are protected against dangerous diseases.”