Vermont’s health crisis predates COVID-19

77
3
Vermont’s health crisis predates COVID-19

The research shows that the state's health crisis predates the pandemic, with dozens of preventable deaths associated with ambulance ramping in Victoria before COVID 19 hit, with critics saying the new figures show that the state's health crisis predates the epidemic.

The data from Ambulance Victoria, Monash University, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Alfred Health, and the Baker Heart Research Institute was analyzed by Ambulance Victoria, and more than 200,000 patients who called an ambulance between 2015 and 2019 because of chest pain.

It found that when an ambulance took longer than 17 minutes to offload a patient at a hospital, they faced a higher risk of dying within the next 30 days.

An extended wait time also resulted in an increased risk of the patient calling an ambulance for chest pain in the future.

The median time it took for an ambulance to offload a patient increased from 21 minutes in 2015 to 24 minutes in the first half of 2019.

The delays in offloading patients, known as ramping, were associated with about 70 preventable deaths in 2018.

The Victorian government has said an increase in ambulance ramping is due to COVID-related staff shortages, but the study shows ramping was contributing to patient deaths before the epidemic.

Ambulance Victoria has called six code reds this year, which is when there are no ambulances available to respond to call-outs.

Between 2017 and 2021, only nine were called.

The most recent code red came on Tuesday morning just after midnight and lasted four hours.

The Victorian Ambulance Union secretary Danny Hill said on Wednesday that the crisis was taking a toll on emergency workers.

He said that he does not think that morale has ever been as bad as it is at the moment, and when you have a code red it just looks like there's no end in sight to it.

According to the study, Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said Daniel Andrews' government had had eight years in government to set up a functional health system.

Everyone knows that COVID is not the cause of the problems in the health service - it has exaggerated some of them no doubt - but it's not the root cause of them, he said.

The health system is under enormous strain at the moment, and that is a direct result of the epidemic, he said. Victoria reported our very best ambulance response times ever. We will repair the damage that this virus did, and that is a direct result of it. Ambulance ramping refers to when delays at the hospital mean a patient cannot be offloaded, while response times are the time between triple 0 being called and the ambulance arriving.

Ambulance ramping can lead to worse response times.

The Victorian government announced in the 2022 -- 23 budget that $124 million would be allocated to Ambulance Victoria to recruit 90 extra paramedics.