Mr HOWARD (Ballarat East)— Premier Napthine is deluding himself if he believes that we do not have an ambulance crisis in this state. I know of three new stories reported in the Ballarat Courier last month alone. The first is headed ‘Firefighter called upon to drive ambulance to hospital’ and it describes an incident that took place on Saturday, 10 May, when an ambulance crew tended to a patient in Black Hill. When they needed backup support there were no other mobile intensive care ambulance crews available, so the Country Fire Authority had to be called. The two paramedics both travelled in the back of the ambulance attending to the patient while the firefighter was called upon to drive theambulance to Ballarat Base Hospital.
Then the following week, on 19 May, the headline was, ‘Ambulances queue to unload patients’, and this article describes delays at Ballarat Health Services emergency department that left five ambulances waiting for between 1 and 2 hours to unload patients. These long delays for ambulance crews are becoming regular. They leave our towns uncovered, and it potentially puts lives at risks.
Again, yesterday an elderly woman was left lying on a footpath for more than 1 hour while she waited for an ambulance. This was not in a remote location, but outside the UnitingCare Furniture Shop in Albert Street, in the Ballarat CBD, and it was at 12.40 p.m. The ambulance had to come from Beaufort because Ballarat units were unavailable. These experiences are not good enough and — —
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