Health Nagambie Ambulance Nagambie

Rosters show Nagambie’s part-time paramedic service

16 April 2020

Copies of the Nagambie ambulance station’s roster have revealed the Andrews Government has walked back on its promise to fund a full-time paramedic service in Nagambie.

Member for Euroa Steph Ryan says the Andrews Government must deliver on the ambulance service that was promised to the Nagambie community.

After a long campaign, in 2018 the government finally caved to pressure from Ms Ryan and the Nagambie Ambulance Community Service Alliance and agreed to a place a paramedic permanently in Nagambie.

But Ms Ryan said while an ambulance vehicle had been placed in town, the station’s rosters showed the town was still not covered by a paramedic for much of the time.

“While Nagambie is funded for a paramedic during the day, the government is hiring in ambulance community officers (ACO) from out of town to cover the night shift,” Ms Ryan said.

“The irony is that these ACOs are being paid at a rate that would pay for a paramedic to be on call for all of these shifts.

“For much of December, about 70 per cent of overnight shifts were not covered at all, let alone staffed by a paramedic. 

“All the community is asking for is the same service that is based in Murchison, Euroa and Tatura. Those branches are on call branches which means they have a paramedic who works during the day and then takes the ambulance home at night. 

“If they are called out overnight, they are then supported by an ACO.”

Ms Ryan said the Andrews Government had announced plans to fast track the employment of an extra 120 paramedics. 

“If the government is genuine about improving the service for all Victorians, it will prioritise rural communities which face longest response times,” Ms Ryan said.

The latest ambulance response time data for the December quarter of last year, shows Strathbogie continues to have one of the worst response times in the state, with just 42 per cent all code one call outs met within the target window of less than 15 minutes. 

“If you live in Strathbogie and you have an emergency, you are half as likely to have ambulance turn up on your doorstep within the target 15 minute window as the rest of the state,” Ms Ryan said.

“We fought for years to make the government acknowledge that Nagambie has a growing population and ambulance response times were just not up to scratch.

“Instead of trying to crab walk away from it’s commitments, the Andrews Government now has an opportunity to deliver what they actually promised us.”

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