Shepparton community waiting longer for ambulances, emergency treatment
12 May 2021
Code 1 ambulances in Shepparton are taking longer to arrive, as the wait for emergency treatment at the local ED balloons to the fifth slowest in the state.
The latest response time figures released by Ambulance Victoria show 20 per cent of the sickest people waited more than 15 minutes for an ambulance in January-March this year**.
In Moira Shire, the average response time has ballooned by four minutes in the past year to 20.12 minutes, while just 46.1 per cent of call outs were responded to within 15 minutes.
Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said the slower response times showed the need to properly resource regional emergency services and health care.
“When people are sick and require urgent health care, every second counts,” Ms Ryan said.
“Health professionals are telling us Victorians are now sicker and in need of longer stays in hospital than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“But too many people in the Shepparton region are left in pain and at risk of their condition getting worse because the Andrews Labor Government isn’t getting the basics right.”
But the crisis does not stop with ambulance wait times. Once patients arrive at hospital and into the emergency departments, they are waiting for hours to be admitted.
Meanwhile, Shepparton also recorded the fifth longest wait time for emergency department treatment anywhere in the state, with locals facing an average wait of 36 minutes. Statewide, the average is 24 minutes.
Ms Ryan said worsening ambulance response times were one symptom of the growing health crisis under the Andrews Labor Government.
“Hospital waitlists are skyrocketing with a 30 per cent increase in the number of people waiting for elective surgery in the past 12 months,” Ms Ryan said.
“Meanwhile, vulnerable Victorians seeking help for drug addiction and to get their lives back on track are now waiting longer than 12 months to access treatment.
“Lives are being lost due to Labor’s health crisis and the longer Daniel Andrews fails to fix the problems, the sicker people will become.”
**Ambulance Victoria has two official response time targets – to respond to Code 1 incidents within 15 minutes for 85 per cent of incidents statewide and respond to Code 1 incidents within 15 minutes for 90 per cent of incidents in centres with populations greater than 7500.