Ambulance Victoria Issues Code Orange As System Struggles Under Pressure
Ramped and waiting
Ambulance Victoria declared a code orange on Tuesday night, as almost 70 calls were placed in a "pending queue" while the state's health system struggled under pressure.
A code orange warning indicates that anyone requiring non-emergency care needs to contact nurse-on-call services or find alternative transport to hospital.
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It comes after Melbourne's emergency departments hit crisis point with a suspected 39 ambulances ramped in the mayhem.
Shadow Health Minister Georgie Crozier said the Andrews government is clearly hiding its failures.
“Our health system isn’t coping because of years of underinvestment and mismanagement that has occurred as a result of one man, Daniel Andrews”
"We need to see the extent and understand where the problems are," she said. "How can we fix the problems if we don't know the extent of the problem".
"Why is the government hiding that report. Why won't they release it?," she demanded.
Meanwhile, Victorian Ambulance Union secretary Danny Hill said the fallout from the pandemic is partially to blame.
“A lot of these cases are what we call deferred care … prior to the pandemic you might have seen a doctor once a month for a chronic health condition, but during the pandemic a lot of those people have dropped off on those appointments, and of course they’re getting into a situation where they’re calling triple-0,” he told 3AW.
Mr Hill pointed out that more people were relying on emergency services in the wake of the pandemic.
“It’s not an increase in heart attacks, strokes or car accidents,” he said. “It is an increased reliance on triple-0 and emergency departments as well for quite low acuity cases.”
The union boss said burnout is high among its staff.
"They’re just completely fried, and Ambulance Victoria relies so much on people working overtime shifts to help bolster the service,” he said.
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