May 29, 2014  |  Members Statements

Ambulance Services

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 — —

  The SPEAKER — Order! The member’s time has expired.