Ambulance comes in Victoria may have been linked to at least 70 preventable deaths in 2018, according to a new report.
The findings, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, analyzed more than 200,000 people taken to Victorian hospitals between 2015 and 2019 for non-traumatic chest pain.
The study found that once patients were hunted for 17 minutes longer, their chances of dying increased over the next 30 days.
“Ramping” is where paramedics must continue to care for patients while they wait for a hospital bed to be released.
The Victorian government has consistently said that the current crisis in the healthcare system is the result of unprecedented demand from COVID-19 and the flu.
However, this research shows that the pressure on the system occurred well before that.
Anthony Carlyon, acting CEO of Ambulance Victoria, told media this afternoon that the organization is “concerned” about the report.
“We want our patients to receive care when they need it,” Carlyon said.
“We recognize that the report provides some evidence that we need to do more.”
Carlyon said Victoria’s entire health system had to “work harder” to improve current patient care issues.
He said Ambulance Victoria was “doing everything” to support its paramedics, including providing psychological support and meals.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews responded today to questions about the healthcare system, insisting that COVID-19 had caused the problems.
“This is not about money,” he said.
“This is all about staff and if the staff is sick, they can’t start taking care of sick patients.”
With the state’s COVID-19 response team being disbanded tonight, the Australian Defense Force is expected to stop helping Ambulance Victoria address the demand.
Members of the Defense Force have been driving ambulances for months.