Best Ambulance Response Time In Nine Years

Ambulance response times are the best in nine years thanks to record Andrews Labor Government investment into our ambulance services.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services today released the Victorian Health Services and Ambulance Victoria Performance Data for the March quarter, which also showed improved ambulance turnaround times in hospital emergency departments in the past three months, after the pressure at the end of one of our worst flu seasons.

In the January to March quarter, the data shows Ambulance Victoria attended a total of 66,225 time-critical Code 1 call-outs, up by more than 4,000 the year before.

Despite the increased demand, ambulances were arriving at the scene of life-threatening emergencies in an average of 11:21 minutes – an improvement of 41 seconds from a year earlier – and 1:44 minutes faster than the Liberals’ last March quarter.

Our paramedics are reaching emergencies within the benchmark 15 minutes, 83 per cent of the time – up from 80 per cent a year earlier and 75 per cent from when the Liberals were in Government – when ambulance response times blew out to the worst on the mainland.

Our record investment, reforms and respect for paramedics are ensuring the most critical patients are getting the care they need sooner, and lives are being saved.

Ambulance Victoria’s revised Clinical Response Model was introduced in 2016 to ensure 000 callers receive a response appropriate to their needs, and to improve the availability of emergency ambulances to respond to life-threatening emergencies.

As a result of these reforms, paramedics are now arriving at cardiac arrests faster than ever before, with a record number of patients surviving and a record number of bystanders stepping in to help out. Patients are being defibrillated within 9.2 minutes – one minute faster than last year – when every second counts.

In addition, our performance data also shows our hospitals are recovering from one of our worst flu seasons on record. Last quarter hospitals experienced record emergency department presentations, hospital admissions and a record number of patients receiving elective surgeries when compared to any other March quarter on record.

Hospital emergency departments treated 443,204 people last quarter – with 13,458 more patients being treated last quarter than at the same time last year, and a whopping 51,206 more than the last equivalent quarter when the Liberals were in government.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“Our record investment and reforms mean more ambulances are arriving at critical patients more quickly and giving more Victorians the emergency care they need.”

“Victorian families can have the peace of mind that ambulances will arrive sooner when they have an emergency – and that our hospitals will treat the most critical patients first.”

“Under the Liberals, ambulance response times blew out to the worst on the Australian mainland and if ever given the chance they would once again cut health services and undermine our paramedics.”