Victorian hospitals have experienced unprecedented demand with 443,084 patients presenting at emergency departments across Victoria over the summer months the latest health performance data shows.

This is a 24 per cent increase in the last six years, with more than a third of these patients needing to be admitted to hospital – the highest number ever.

Last November’s unprecedented thunderstorm asthma event pushed hospital emergency departments to the limit, but this latest data confirms our doctors, nurses and paramedics rose to the challenge.

The number of hospital emergency arrivals at Geelong and metropolitan Melbourne hospitals spiked at 9909 across 21 and 22 November with the thunderstorm asthma event.

Ambulance Victoria analysis indicates that its December quarter state-wide response times are slightly above the previous three months, but without the surge in callouts for the thunderstorm asthma would have remained steady.

Hospital emergency department attendances also climbed as a result of the respiratory illness surge, but on most measures were an improvement on the previous three months.

The Andrews Labor Government’s record investment in ambulances and our health system is paying dividends, with elective surgery waiting times and ambulance response times an improvement compared to a year earlier.

Locally, Sunbury Day Hospital is performing well in a range of key areas. It:

  • Reduced the number of patients on the elective surgery waiting list – from 133 at the end of the December 2015 quarter to 84 at the end of this December.
  • Provided operations for 100% of all elective surgery patients within the benchmark times in the December quarter – up on the State-wide average of 90%.
  • Treated half of the hospital’s Category 1 elective surgery patients within 5 days – well under the 30-day benchmark.

Ambulance Victoria data confirms people in the City of Hume can have confidence that in an emergency, they will get the care they need, quickly.

The average time for an ambulance to reach the scene of a Code 1 accident or emergency in the City of Hume has improved, to 13:39 minutes in the December quarter from 14:25 minutes a year earlier.

Over the same period, the proportion of ambulances which arrived within the benchmark 15 minutes for the most time-critical patients – including cardiac arrest, heart attack, major trauma and stroke patients – improved from 67.6 per cent to 73.4 per cent.

Our $500 million plan to improve response times – the biggest ever investment in ambulance services – will employ 450 more paramedics, buy new vehicles and build new ambulance stations across the state.


Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“These latest figures confirm all Victorians can have confidence in our hospitals, doctors, nurses and paramedics – they have done an exceptional job rising to the challenge of thunderstorm asthma, and the tragic Bourke Street incident.”

“We have never experienced such demand on our health system, but we are treating and caring for more patients than ever before.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Sunbury Josh Bull

“Our record investment in health means more patients in Sunbury will get the care, treatment and surgery they need sooner.”

“With more paramedics on the road, ambulances will be able to respond to life threatening emergencies in Hume even more quickly.”



Related Topics