$109m to aid paramedics

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - PA­TRICK CARLYON

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.”

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