Ambulances are being taken off the road and ‘ramped’ outside Casey Hospital for 309 hours per monthbecause of Baillieu Government budget cuts to health, State Member for Narre Warren South Judith Graley said today.

Documents obtained by the State Opposition under Freedom of Information reveal that ambulances are being ‘ramped’ outside some Victorian hospitals for more than 1,000 hours per month.

Ms Graley said people from Narre Warren South were paying the price for a health system starved of funding by the Baillieu Government.

“Ambulance ramping is a symptom of a struggling health system, because overworked hospitals don’t have the resources on hand to accept these patients,” Ms Graley said.

“We need our ambulances available to attend emergencies, not sitting in queues created by a lack of hospital beds,”

“In fact, the situation has gotten worse, with the ramping time increasing by 60 per cent
since 2009/10,”

“These ramping times for the most recent financial year reveal that our highly skilled
paramedics are being parked outside Victorian hospitals for longer than ever before because the Victorian health system has become gridlocked under the Baillieu Government,”

“Longer ramping times at hospitals means Narre Warren South patients are waiting longer to get into hospital and there are fewer ambulances available to respond to life-threatening emergencies – this places lives at risk,”

“The recent Ambulance Victoria annual report revealed just how bad the ramping problem had become with one in four ambulances failing to respond to life-threatening emergencies within the Baillieu Government’s own state-wide target of 15 minutes.”

Ms Graley blamed the Baillieu Government’s $616 million health funding cuts for the  blow-out in ambulance ramping times.

“Ambulances are being parked up with patients outside emergency departments across both Melbourne and regional Victoria because there is a lack of capacity in our hospital system,” she said.

“Before the election, the Baillieu Government told Victorians they would deliver 800 new beds and, by June this year, there would be 100 already in the system,”

“If the Premier had delivered these beds, hospitals wouldn’t have to force ambulances to wait outside for beds to become available,”

“The Baillieu Government should stop blaming others for their failings and get on with the job of providing an effective ambulance service for the people of Victoria.”