Ambulance Victoria: State faces record demand for third straight year

Ambulance records were broken in Victoria for the third consecutive quarter, data released on Saturday showed.

In a statement, Ambulance Victoria said Covid, sicker patients resulting from delayed care and staff furloughs had created record demand for ambulances, which they said was up 16% from the previous quarter.

Data revealed that from April to June of this year, ambulances responded to 97,928 ‘code one’ cases across the state – a stunning increase of more than 13,000 from the same time of year. last.

Ambulance Victoria said the number was also almost 5,000 more than from January to March this year.

The average statewide response rate was 15 minutes and 49 seconds, the data reveals.

Felicity Topp, acting chief executive of Ambulance Victoria, said Covid continued to pose a risk.

“There are no signs of demand slowing down over the winter. Covid-19 continues to pose a high risk to Victorians and will continue to do so for some time,” Ms Topp said on Saturday.

To cope with demand, Ms Topp said Ambulance Victoria had overseen a huge expansion in its numbers of paramedics and triage services, while encouraging the use of Victoria’s virtual emergency service.

She said a record 700 paramedics were recruited last year, while 400 have already been recruited so far this year.

From April to June, more than 8,000 patients were referred to the virtual emergency department, according to the data.

“If the patient does not appear to need immediate transport to the emergency room, paramedics can arrange a video consultation with an emergency physician or nurse practitioner to determine if care can be delivered safely and effectively at home,” Ms. Topp said.

She said “thousands of patients” have been treated at home using this method.

Originally published as Victoria ambulance crisis triggers warning due to ‘extremely high’ demand