Victoria’s ambulance crisis is leaving communities in the outer suburbs with second-rate coverage with reports of the second death in three months of a patient who suffered an asthma attack following a delayed ambulance response.

Labor’s Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Wade Noonan, said reports of the Sunbury man’s death earlier this month were incredibly distressing, particularly given the similarities to the case of Brodie Wilson, who died after waiting 27 minutes for an ambulance after suffering an asthma attack in late June in Melton.

“This is a very distressing situation and our heartfelt sympathies go out to the man’s family and friends,” Mr Noonan said.

“Unfortunately, the similarities between this latest death and that of Brodie Wilson paint a distressing picture of an ambulance service in crisis.

“It would seem that no lessons have been learnt from Brodie Wilson’s death and no changes have been made to limit these dreadful situations from occurring in the future.

“How many more families will need to suffer the trauma of losing a loved one before the Napthine Government fixes these ambulance delays?

“When there’s an emergency, people expect that they’ll be able to get the care they need, but under Denis Napthine, that isn’t the case.”

Mr Noonan said residents living in Melbourne’s outer suburbs are being left dangerously exposed as ambulance response times continue to blow out.

“Under Mr Napthine almost 30 per cent of ambulances are taking longer than 15 minutes to reach life-threatening emergencies and people living in outer Melbourne are at greatest risk of these delays,” he said.

“Every minute counts when it comes to ambulance response times and can be the difference between life and death for some Victorians.

“But ambulances are being delayed because the system has been neglected by the Napthine Government.

“Whether it’s ambulance ramping, rostering issues leaving vehicles idle or, as in this case, a lack of coverage in outer suburban areas, the ambulance system is in turmoil and Mr Napthine won’t address

Published on September 12, 2013