Ambulance response times worsen under Labor
12 May 2021
Victoria’s health crisis continues to deteriorate with ambulance response times blowing out under the Andrews Labor Government.
Figures released on Friday reveal Ambulance Victoria are failing to meet their statewide target of responding to 85 per cent of Dispatch Code 1 incidents within 15 minutes, particularly in regional and rural communities.
Local MP and Nationals’ deputy leader Steph Ryan said in some cases, critically-ill Victorians were having to choose between waiting half an hour for an ambulance or catching a taxi to the emergency department.
“Communities across the Euroa electorate continue to face terrible delays for ambulances,” Ms Ryan said.
“Data for the January-March 2021 quarter has revealed that 90 per cent of the time, Benalla residents have to wait 35 minutes for an ambulance to arrive with lights and sirens – that’s 12 minutes longer than the statewide average.
“Wait times have also increased for Strathbogie and Mitchell shires, with 90 per cent of ambulances arriving within 35 and 27 minutes respectively.
“Daniel Andrews told Victorians in November 2014 that ‘those minutes matter and too many people have waited too long for an ambulance.’
“The Premier has not heeded his own advice and as a result, Victorians are being forced to wait longer in perilous circumstances.
“In regional Victoria, an ambulance is more likely to fail to meet is code 1 response time than to fulfil it.”
Last month, Val Stafford and her husband Alan, were left waiting 45 minutes for an ambulance to arrive and transport them to Northeast Health in Wangaratta – a trip which Mr Stafford said he could have made himself in 20 minutes.
“Thankfully, Mrs Stafford was okay, however the Staffords are concerned that other people may not be so lucky,” Ms Ryan said.
Ms Ryan told Parliament that earlier this month a 32 year old woman in Melbourne died while waiting for an ambulance that took six hours to arrive.
“Victorians are losing their lives because the Andrews Labor Government is not getting the basics right,” Ms Ryan said.
“It’s no wonder this data was published more than a week past its deadline and on a Friday.”