GIVING PATIENTS IN THE VALLEY AND GIPPSLAND THE BEST CARE

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will deliver better care for people in Gippsland – with more specialists and better ambulance services with more paramedics.

Labor will put more world-leading specialists into the regions, paving the way for 500,000 more specialist appointments in regional and rural Victoria over the next four years. In the Latrobe Valley, patients will be able to access 10,500 additional specialist appointments over the next four years.

Right now, many regional patients are required to travel to Melbourne for treatment and appointments, or face big out-of-pocket costs for a local private appointment.

With private specialist appointments costing between $175 and $565, this investment has the potential to save Victorian patients thousands of dollars. It will mean regional patients won’t be spending hours away from loved ones to access specialist care.

We will also establish an easy-to-access registry for GPs, with up-to-date information about individual hospital wait lists, so that country patients can be seen faster – and closer to home.

Labor will also invest $217 million to build the next stage of the Latrobe Regional Hospital’s expansion, delivering new beds and slashing elective surgery waiting times. We will build new operating theatres, add medical and surgical beds for recovery and add 227 new car parking spaces.

To boost care even further for local families, Labor will fund more paramedics in Gippsland, with Foster and Yarram becoming dual officer stations as part of a $109 million investment in ambulance services across regional Victoria.

We’ve already built and opened new ambulance stations at Sale, Traralgon and Orbost – and two more are on the way in Morwell and Moe.

The former Liberal Government slashed funding to health and went to war with our paramedics, causing the rate of ambulances arriving at Code 1 emergencies within 15 minutes to deteriorate to a record low of 73 per cent – the worst on the mainland.

We’ve ended the war on paramedics, reversed the savage Liberal cuts and delivered the best ambulance response times on record. New data released today shows ambulances in the Latrobe Valley are now responding to 80.22 per cent of Code 1 incidents within 15 minutes compared to just 50.2 percent in 2013 – now getting people the vital help they need faster and saving lives.

Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Four years ago I made a promise to fix the ambulance crisis and we have. But there’s more to do, and only Labor can be trusted to back our paramedics.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“Victorians can’t afford to go back to the days where patients were left dying because an ambulance couldn’t get there in time. Only Labor will give people confidence that in an emergency, they’ll get the life-saving care they need.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“This further boost to paramedics will improve care and save more lives, and builds on our record investment in health and ambulance services in the Latrobe Valley and across Gippsland.”

Quote attributable to Labor Candidate for Morwell Mark Richards

“We’ve already said we’ll get on with a major upgrade of Latrobe Regional Hospital but there’s more to do. Labor will provide more paramedics and give locals more access to specialist care, closer to home.”