Department of Health

Investment in ambulance services

22/11/16
Published by Department of Health & Human Services

The Department of Health has announced the State’s largest ever investment in ambulance services. Half a billion has been committed over 5 years in our ambulance services to meet ambulance response time targets by mid – 2019. 

It is important to acknowledge the significant work that has been undertaken by Ambulance Victoria to reform and modernise and recover from the Liberal’s industrial war with the workforce and crisis in ambulance response times.

Upon coming to Government a committee was convened that brought together paramedics, the Union and Ambulance management to tackle the significant problems facing our ambulance services.

That Committee released its final report almost 12 months ago recommend a range of reforms – most notably that the Government overhaul the way the dispatch grid operates to better prioritise emergency ambulances to life threatening cases.

That reform was completed over the last 6 months and finished in early November.

Early positive results have been evident – Code 1 response times are nearly one minute faster compared to 2 years ago.

This reform was important to ensure that our resources were being used most efficiently. The problems facing ambulance services 2 years ago – could not just be solved with money. Hard questions about who was using our ambulances and whether that use was appropriate had to be tackled.

Having completed this reform and we have been able to assess what further funding is required to meet Government targets. 

That assessment has revealed that a significant injection of funds is required if we are to meet Government targets. So today a half a billion dollar investment over the next 5 years is announced, to meet ambulance response time targets by mid-2019 and maintain them at that level.

This funding will deliver:

  • 450 additional paramedics over the next 2 years
  • 6 new Super Branches in Melbourne’s suburbs – one based here in Sunshine/Maribyrnong area, in the outer North West, the North, the North East, outer East and outer South East. These branches will house 210 paramedics across the 6 sites to provide support to our local branches in meeting enormous demand in Melbourne’s growth suburbs.
  • We are building new branches and upgrading 22 more branches. This commitment is in addition to our already significant investment upgrading 20 branches across the state.
  • In addition to this commitment we are creating 12 new Branches in rural Victoria to improve rural response times. These Branches will have a Paramedic Support Co-ordinator and a vehicle, an experienced paramedic who can provide an emergency response but also supervise and train local volunteer teams who can respond to incidents. We have trialled this approach in Wedderburn and Warracknabeal and they’ve been a great hit with the local communities so we are rolling this out to new locations.
  • $50 million investment in our Emergency Departments to address ambulance ramping.

For further information, visit the Ambulance reform.

Reviewed 22 November 2016

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