The Andrews Labor Government has repaired the damage inflicted on our ambulance service by the former Liberal National Government, with state-wide ambulance response times restored to what they were before the Liberals/Nationals went to war with our paramedics.

The latest ambulance and hospital performance data show ambulance response times are the best in seven years, with 80 per cent of Code One emergency calls responded to within the target of 15 minutes – the first time it has reached that mark since the former Labor Government was in power in 2010.

During the height of the previous Government’s ambulance crisis in 2012/13, just 73 per cent of Code One ambulance response times met the 15 minute benchmark, meaning too many Victorians in life-threatening emergencies waited too long for an ambulance.

Over the past 12 months, thanks to the Labor Government’s record investment in, and reform of, our ambulance service, response times have improved from 75.6 per cent of Code One calls meeting the 15 minute benchmark, to 80 per cent.

In Shepparton, we are seeing significant improvement, with 81.8 per cent of ambulances now arriving within 15 minutes for Code One emergencies, up from 77.8 per cent this time last year.

This means the average time for an ambulance to reach the scene of a Code One emergency in Shepparton over the same period has improved from 12:13 minutes to 11:24.

“It’s simple, instead of going to war with our paramedics and slashing funding, we’re investing in more paramedics, more ambulances and more branches,” Ms Symes said.

“With the response times continuing to improve, families in Shepparton can now have confidence that in an emergency they’ll get the life-saving care they need, when they need it.

“Here in Shepparton we’re investing so we can continue to perform more surgeries and treat and admit more patients than ever before despite record demand on our health system.”

The Victorian Budget 2017/18 includes an additional $26.5 million to continue to improve response times and rebuild our ambulance service.

The funding in the Budget will build on our $500 million plan to improve ambulance response times – the biggest ever investment in ambulance services – which is employing 450 more paramedics, buying new vehicles and building new ambulance stations across the state.

Already, as a result of this investment, an additional 127 full-time equivalent, highly-skilled paramedics are now trained up and on the road, ready to respond to life-threatening emergencies and save lives.




And we are seeing improvements across our health system, with less patients waiting for surgery and the March quarter delivering the best ever emergency department performance since the ‘four hour target’ was introduced.

The latest data shows 74.4 per cent of patients were admitted or treated and sent home within four hours, a huge improvement from the record low of 61.7 per cent in 2011 when the Liberals were slashing health funding.

For the Shepparton Hospital, we are seeing positive results. The hospital:

  • Admitted 7943 patients in the 3 months to the end of March – up from 7297 admissions in the same period a year earlier.
  • Admitted 2682 emergency patients in the 3 months to the end of March – up from 2480 emergency admissions a year earlier.
  • Treated 91% of Category 2 patients within 10 minutes of arrival at the ED in the 3 months to the end of March – up from 75% a year earlier, and beating the State-wide target of 80%.
  • Reduced the number of patients on the elective surgery waiting list – from 830 at the end of the December quarter to 779 at the end of March.
  • Treated an extra 117 patients from the elective surgery waiting list in the March quarter, compared with the waiting list admissions in the same period a year earlier.

Ms Symes recently announced more than $35million for Northern Victoria health services as part of the Labor Government’s new Regional Health Infrastructure Fund which saw Goulburn Valley Health receive $9,957,000 for the redevelopment of the Waranga Campus.