Times cut, but ambulances still missing target


EMERGENCY ambulance response times have improved across the Mornington Peninsula in the past 12 months, but are still falling short of best practice targets for emergency call-outs.

Data released by Ambulance Victoria shows 70.6 per cent of code one calls in 2015-16 were responded to within 15 minutes.

The average response time in 2015-16 to 10,057 incidents was 13 minutes, 11 seconds. This was an improvement on an average response time of 13 minutes, 43 seconds to 9380 incidents in 2014-15.

The Ambulance Victoria target for under 15 minutes response times for areas with a population greater than 7500 is 90 per cent.

The peninsula has more than 145,000 residents.

Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy in April said the Labor state government included $144 million” in its first budget “to fix the ambulance system after four years of crisis.

“With ambulance response times now the best they have been in five years, this shows what can be achieved by working together with our paramedics – instead of declaring war on them like the Liberals did,” Ms Hennessy subsequently said in a statement this month.

Liberal opposition health spokeswoman Mary Wooldridge said ambulance services are not improving in line with increased funding.

“Before the last election, Daniel Andrews claimed ambulance response times were in crisis and said he would fix it,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“After nearly two years as Premier, he is nowhere near his target, with response times similar to what they were under the previous government when Daniel Andrews claimed it was a crisis.”

In 2014, when the previous Coalition state government was in power, Ambulance Victoria refused to release response times categorised by local government area and instead only provided statewide figures.

Ambulance Victoria’s board was axed and replaced after Labor’s state election win in November 2014.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 22 November 2016


Comments are closed.