State-wide ambulance response times have continued to blow out, with local Code 1 call outs experiencing concerning delays.
Over the October to December quarter the average response time for a Code 1 call out across Benalla increased by 28 seconds with only two thirds of ambulances arriving within the target time of 15 minutes.
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Member for Euroa, Annabelle Cleeland, said the Andrews Government has run out of people to blame.
“The Premier came to power in 2014 claiming he’d ‘save the minutes that save lives.’ Sadly, underinvestment and continual failures in the triple zero system have left our ambulance system in a shocking position,” Ms Cleeland said.
“In 2014, before this government came to power, ambulances were significantly more likely to arrive on time and on average were more than three minutes quicker.
“The government’s record is years of neglect, reports warning of these outcomes sitting unread on desks and Victorians unnecessarily losing their lives.”
The Nationals Member for Shepparton said the government has failed to understand the serious health system issues plaguing regional Victoria.
“Unbelievably this government won’t acknowledge the crisis in our health system and continually plays politics with the health of regional Victorians,” Ms O’Keeffe said.
“Typical of this government, the data was overdue and released the day after Parliament finished sitting. They continue to dodge accountability and transparency at every opportunity.
“Three extra minutes of waiting for urgent support is an eternity in an emergency – this can be the difference between life and death.”
The data comes in the wake of a troubling Productivity Commission report that showed Victoria’s system is the worst in the country.
“We have the most expensive ambulance service in the nation but the worst outcomes,” Ms O’Keeffe said.
“To be waiting nearly 17 minutes on average for an ambulance across Greater Shepparton is completely unacceptable.
“People in our region should have the confidence to know that when they call triple zero, the phone will be picked up and the ambulance will be there on time.”