Issued: Wednesday, 1 February, 2017


Victorian hospitals have experienced unprecedented demand with 443,084 patients presenting at emergency departments across Victoria over the summer months the latest health performance data shows.

This is a 24 per cent increase in the last six years, with more than a third of these patients needing to be admitted to hospital – the highest number ever.

Last November’s unprecedented thunderstorm asthma event pushed hospital emergency departments to the limit, but this latest data confirms our doctors, nurses and paramedics rose to the challenge.

The number of hospital emergency arrivals at Geelong and metropolitan Melbourne hospitals spiked at 9909 across 21 and 22 November with the thunderstorm asthma event.

Ambulance Victoria analysis indicates that its December quarter response times are slightly above the previous three months, but without the surge in callouts for the thunderstorm asthma would have remained steady.

Hospital emergency department attendances also climbed as a result of the respiratory illness surge, but on most measures were an improvement on the previous three months.

The Andrews Labor Government’s record investment in ambulances and our health system is paying dividends, with elective surgery waiting times and ambulance response times an improvement compared to a year earlier.

Locally, Maroondah Hospital is performing well in a range of key areas.

  • Admitted 10,245 patients in the 3 months to the end of December – up from 9679 admissions in the same period a year earlier.
  • Saw 15,077 patients who presented to the emergency department in the 3 months to the end of December – up from 14,416 presentations in the same quarter in 2015.
  • Completed the transfer of 95% of patients who arrived at the hospital in an ambulance in the December quarter within the target of 40 minutes, up on its 91.2% transfer rate in the December 2015 quarter and better than the State-wide benchmark of 90%.
  • Reduced the number of patients on the elective surgery waiting list by 283– from 928 at the end of the December 2015 quarter to 645 at the end of this December.
  • Provided operations within the benchmark 30 days for 100% of the hospital’s 432 Category 1 urgent elective surgery patients in the December quarter.
  • Treated half of the hospital’s Category 1 elective surgery patients within 7 days – well under the 30-day benchmark.

Ambulance Victoria data confirms people in the City of Maroondah can have confidence that in an emergency, they will get the care they need, quickly.

The proportion of ambulances in Maroondah which arrived within the benchmark 15 minutes for the most time-critical patients – including cardiac arrest, heart attack, major trauma and stroke patients – improved to 86.1 per cent in the December quarter, up from 85.5 per cent a year earlier.

Our $500 million plan to improve response times – the biggest ever investment in ambulance services – will employ 450 more paramedics, buy new vehicles and build new ambulance stations across the state.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“These latest figures confirm all Victorians can have confidence in our hospitals, doctors, nurses and paramedics – they have done an exceptional job rising to the challenge of thunderstorm asthma, and the tragic Bourke Street incident.”

“We have never experienced such demand on our health system, but we are treating and caring for more patients than ever before.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan Shaun Leane

“Our record investment in health means more patients at Maroondah will get the care, treatment and surgery they need sooner.”

“With more paramedics on the road, ambulances will be able to respond to life threatening emergencies in Maroondah even more quickly.”