$109m to aid paramedics
DOZENS of paramedics will be recruited and more ambulances put on Victoria’s roads, under a $109 million package promised by the Andrews Government.
The boost was unveiled by Premier Daniel Andrews in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Herald Sun as Labor officially launches its election campaign today.
The package would see 90 new paramedics hired to join the 1000 rolled out in the past four years. It would also help to build and upgrade stations, and add 23 vehicles across the state.
Mr Andrews said the funding would further reduce ambulance response times — now the best in the state’s history.
DOZENS of new paramedics will be recruited and more ambulances put on Victoria’s roads, under a $109 million package promised by the Andrews Government.
The government will today announce that, if re-elected, it will hire 90 new paramedics, to join the 1000 rolled out in the past four years.
The package would include $25 million to build and upgrade stations, and add 23 new vehicles across the state.
Fifteen single-crew stations in regional Victoria would also be converted to dual-crew stations.
The Ambulance Employees Australia union warned in June that single-officer crews were outdated and dangerous, and should be phased out.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the funding would further reduce response times — now the best in the state’s history.
“I want these response times to be even faster because I don’t want any families to be let down,” Mr Andrews said.
Labor, to officially launch its election campaign today, came to power in 2014 amid a long-running and bitter pay dispute between paramedics and the former Coalition government.
Response times have dropped in recent years, after the biggest shake-up of Victoria’s dispatch system.
Data to be released today shows, between July and September, ambulances reached code 1 cases in an average of 11 minutes and 11 seconds.
They arrived within the 15minute benchmark in 83.7 per cent of cases — up from 79.5 per cent at the same time last year.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy said response times represented more than “just data on a page”.
“It’s the lives saved of Victorians who depend on the high-quality care our hardworking paramedics provide,” Ms Hennessy said.
“Thanks to our record investments and landmark reforms, patients can have peace of mind that they can get the treatment they need.”