More ambulances are arriving at emergencies sooner with Victoria’s ambulance response times the quickest they have been in five years.

The latest Ambulance Victoria response time data, released today, shows ambulances are now arriving at Code One emergency cases faster than the same time last year, with 76.6 per cent of Code One incidents responded to within 15 minutes – an improvement of 2 per cent compared to the previous year.

This is a further improvement on the 2015/16 result of 75.2 per cent released recently in the Ambulance Victoria annual report.

Under the Liberals, this figure fell to a record low of 73 per cent at the height of the ambulance crisis, earning them the unenviable title of having the worst ambulance response times on the Australian mainland.

Ambulance performance in Macedon Ranges Shire continues to improve, with the average response time of 14:48 minutes in the September quarter an improvement on the 15:20 minute response time a year earlier.

Ambulances attended 59% of calls within the benchmark 15 minutes – up from 57.6% in the September 2015 quarter.

They are also better than the September quarter 2013/14, in the last full year of the previous Liberal government – when ambulances in Macedon Ranges attended just 44.51% of calls in the benchmark 15 minutes, and had an average response time of 18:08 minutes.

Ambulance performance in the Hepburn Shire continues to improve, with the average Code One response time of 22:02 minutes in the September quarter an improvement on the 27:14 minute average Code One response time in the September quarter 2013/14, in the last full year of the previous Liberal government.

Ambulances in Hepburn attended 26.9% of Code One calls within the benchmark 15 minutes – up from 12.09% under the Liberals.

These improved response times come despite record demand for ambulances and in our emergency departments, and are a testament to the significant reforms undertaken and funded by the Labor Government to rebuild our ambulance services after four years of crisis and neglect under the former Liberal Government.

The Victorian Budget 2016/17 included a massive $144 million boost to repair the damage caused by the Liberals and make sure Victorians in life threatening situations get the emergency ambulance care they need, sooner.

The latest Victorian Health Services Performance data, also released today, shows the Labor Government’s record investment to tackle elective surgery waiting lists is paying immediate dividends.

The number of patients waiting for surgery at the end of September was 40,508 – 1200 fewer than a year earlier – and well below the record 50,054 patients in March 2013 when waiting lists skyrocketed under the Liberals.

These strong results come despite hospitals continuing to treat more and more patients, with the 453,483 admissions in the September quarter the highest number ever reported.

We will continue to build on these improvements, with Victorian hospitals signing up to ambitious targets as part of their Statement of Priorities agreements for 2016/17 to perform even more surgeries and achieve even lower waiting list targets.

 Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“With ambulance response times now the best they have been in five years, this shows what can be achieved by working together with our paramedics – instead of declaring war on them like the Liberals did.”

“The latest hospital performance data confirms that despite record demand on our doctors, nurses and paramedics more patients are getting the treatment and surgeries they need sooner.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

“Macedon and Hepburn patients experiencing life threatening conditions can have every confidence they will receive faster responses from paramedics today than they did under the crisis-ridden Liberals – despite growing demand for ambulances.”

“People in Macedon and Hepburn waiting for surgery can also be confident they will receive their operations sooner as a result of our record investment in our hospitals to bring down waiting times.”