Emergencies encountered in benchmark times in Warrnambool drop | The standard

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The number of ‘code 1’ emergencies encountered within benchmark times in Warrnambool has fallen since 2021 as pandemic pressure continues to see unprecedented demand. In Warrnambool there has been a 17.1 per cent increase in the number of code one cases compared to the same period last year, Ambulance Victoria’s latest response data between January and March reveals. Paramedics treated 86.3 per cent of code one patients in Warrnambool within 15 minutes – up from 90.4 per cent at the same time last year. RELATED NEWS: The average Code One response time in Warrnambool was 10 minutes and 57 seconds. Meanwhile, wait times for less urgent ‘code two’ incidents have skyrocketed over the same period in Warrnambool. The number of code two cases has fallen by 9.1% in Warrnambool, but the average wait time for an ambulance has almost doubled to 41 minutes and 47 seconds, from 27 minutes and 19 seconds at the start of 2021. Code two incidents are high-pitched and time-sensitive, but do not require response from lights and sirens. In Moyne Shire, there was a 20.8% increase in the number of code one cases compared to the same period last year. Paramedics treated 46.2 per cent of code one patients at Moyne within 15 minutes – up from 40.5 per cent at the same time last year. The average code one response time was 18 minutes. Waits for code two calls have increased by almost an hour across Moyne despite the 24.5% drop in the number of cases. Paramedics responded in an average of 46 minutes and 17 seconds, compared to 34 minutes and 36 seconds at the same time last year. Corangamite Shire ambulance performance has fallen every quarter for the past 12 months. Code one workload decreased by 5.1%, but only 46% of code one calls were answered within 15 minutes. The average Code One response time in Corangamite County was 19 minutes and 19 seconds. There were 10.1% more code two calls. Code 2 response times soared to 37 minutes and 40 seconds, nearly double last year’s reporting period of 29 minutes and 14 seconds on 159 calls. In the Glenelg Shire code one, calls increased by five per cent. Paramedics attended to 67.4% of codes within 15 minutes. The average wait time for code one patients was 16 minutes. As in the rest of the region, less urgent patients waited longer. The number of code two patient cases fell 18.3%, but wait times have fallen to an average of 36 minutes and 10 seconds, from 26 minutes and 40 seconds at the start of 2021. Omicron variant and furloughed healthcare workers meant the healthcare system remained under significant and sustained stress. Statewide data shows Ambulance Victoria was called to 93,234 emergencies between January and March this year. That broke the record set the previous quarter, making it the busiest in state history. According to Ambulance Victoria, 66.8% of code one cases were responded to within the statewide average response time of 15 minutes, a slight improvement of 0.3% from the previous quarter. The average statewide response time to code a case was 15 minutes and 15 seconds. In response to the crisis, Ambulance Victoria is now accelerating the recruitment of new officers, with around 100 more having already hit the road this year and another 120 to begin inductions in May. The boost comes on top of the 700 additional officers who joined Victoria’s ranks last year. “This recruitment drive continues…to help get more ambulances on the road and to patients faster,” said Acting Chief Executive Libby Murphy. “Our lives may be returning to normal, but the extraordinary pressure on our paramedics and the entire healthcare system persists.” Health spending will be a centerpiece of the Victorian budget to be presented tomorrow, Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Monday. “The centerpiece will be…a massive investment in health and hospitals to repair the damage caused by the pandemic,” Mr Andrews said. “It’s about making sure we have more staff to treat more patients to catch up on some of the care that has had to be postponed for safety reasons.” There have been several calls from leading health bodies, including the Australian Medical Association and, most recently, the Premier of Victoria, to increase federal funding for the hospital system to 50%. As reported in The Age, the Commonwealth has for years cut hospital funding by 45%, while placing a funding cap when growth is above 6.5%. It has raised that amount to 50% for pandemic-related healthcare costs, but that arrangement is set to end in September. Daniel Andrews warned that the move would cost states around $5 billion, including $1.5 billion for Victoria. Mr. Andrews requested that the equal distribution of funding remain in place. The Standard asked Wannon MP Dan Tehan if he would support the equal distribution of funding if re-elected, but no response was received. IN OTHER NEWS Now just a click away with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the option to receive information faster, at their fingertips with The Standard: