My question is to the Minister for Ambulance Services, Ms Mikakos.
It concerns yet another case (this one in Myrtleford, in February) of exceedingly slow ambulance response times in Northern Victoria.
This patient (who had a strangulated hernia) actually needed an ambulance twice, but neither arrived for around an hour. No CERT team was available either, and all these problems were exacerbated by the apparent failure of the ambulance crews and hospital staff to even communicate with one another about the patient’s condition and requirements.
Minister: what do you and/or Ambulance Victoria currently regard as a reasonable time for a person with a strangulated hernia to have an ambulance arrive and be transported from Myrtleford to a hospital in Wangaratta?
Supplementary question: Minister: the 2019-20 Statement of Priorities agreement that you signed with Ambulance Victoria includes these key goals, quote:
- “care is always being there when people need it”;
- “equal access to care”; and
- “people are connected to the full range of care and support they need”.
Minister: on the basis of the continuing emergence of so many unacceptable incidents in non-metropolitan areas, these priorities are clearly not being realised.
So, especially given the significantly increased pressures confronting the State’s health system because of coronavirus, what actions are you now going to take in order to improve ambulance resourcing and response times that continue to fail critically-ill people in Northern Victoria?