The Ambulance Performance and Policy Consultative Committee – established by the Andrews Labor Government to help address the ambulance crisis left behind by the Liberals – met for the first time today.

Victoria’s ambulance system is in crisis, with response times worse than ever, and our emergency departments so clogged that ambulances are stuck waiting outside hospitals for thousands of hours a month.

The Triple 0 Call Centre has failed to dispatch ambulances on time for three years, and, in some tragic cases, the wrong information is given to paramedics.

Chaired by the Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy, the Committee will make recommendations to improve Ambulance Victoria’s service performance and culture, including:

Improving ambulance response times

Reducing off-stretcher times at hospital emergency departments (known as “ambulance ramping”)

A review of ambulance call-taking and despatch

Management of workload and fatigue of paramedics

Resource allocation and responses to caseload growth

Alternatives to ambulance transport

The Committee will also provide advice on the potential introduction of Paramedic Practitioners in Victoria, and options to progress the issue of national registration of paramedics through the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency.

Four paramedics have been appointed to the Committee: Metropolitan Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance paramedic and Clinical Support Officer Colin Jones, rural MICA paramedic Jan Einsiedel, rural Advanced Life Support paramedic Luke Baird, and metro ALS paramedic Morgyn McCarthy-Harding.

Other members of the Committee are Parliamentary Secretary for Health Mary-Anne Thomas, Ambulance Victoria acting CEO Tony Walker, AV Administrator Howard Ronaldson, Western Health CEO Alex Cockram, Ambulance Employees Australia of Victoria General Secretary and Assistant Secretary Steve McGhie and Danny Hill, and Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Peter Fitzgerald.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“We’re working with paramedics, not against them, to address the ambulance crisis and help save lives.”

“We’ve appointed four paramedics to this Committee so we can hear first-hand the issues our hard working paramedics are facing. They know the ambulance crisis better than anyone because they live it every day.”

“The first act of the Andrews Labor Government was ending the war on our paramedics. Now, we’re working together to get the system back on its feet