Vic. paramedics see $500m boost
The Victorian Government has put up $500 million for 450 new paramedics and a raft of other improvements.
Measures to improve the ambulance service and response times will include 15 new and upgraded stations and six new ‘super response centres’, staffed by 200 paramedics.
The 450 new paramedics will be employed over the next three years.
“This is the best ambulance service in our nation but it can be better,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“We've seen just this week a timely reminder that we have to keep investing in our health system, in our ambulance system, making sure that our paramedics, our nurses our doctors, everybody in the team has got the resources that they need,” he said.
Any flaws in the ambulance service were exposed when 8,500 people sought hospital treatment during a thunderstorm asthma emergency last week.
The money will be spent over a five-year-period.
“That's more than money, it's a profound investment in the people, facilities and equipment that saves lives,” the Premier said.
The plan includes $50 million for emergency departments to admit and treat patients more quickly, freeing up more ambulances to get back on the road.
Currently, ambulances arrive at 76.6 per cent of code one emergencies within 15 minutes, up from a previous low of 73 per cent.
New vehicles and equipment will be purchased to help stock 12 new ambulance services to be established in regional and remote towns.