Another family in mourning due to Victoria’s worsening healthcare crisis

Tragically another Victorian has died as he waited more than three hours on an ambulance stretcher for emergency care.

The Gippsland man was rushed to Bairnsdale Regional Health Service emergency department but had to wait for care because the ED was full and under-staffed.

Unmanageable high demand on Victoria’s hospital workforce, ambulance ramping and a neglected Triple Zero call service are threatening the lives of critically sick Victorians every single day.

Shadow Minister for Health Georgie Crozier said another devastated family was in mourning as a result of systemic failures and dire pressure on the state’s health workforce.

“This is not an isolated incident where rural and regional health services are struggling to be able to deliver the care to local communities,” Ms Crozier said.

“Years of mismanagement and underfunding by the Andrews Labor Government is leading to a system in crisis that is worsening by the day.

“These shortages will take years to reverse and requires a comprehensive plan.

“Only a Matthew Guy Liberal and Nationals-led government has promised action to deliver change so that Victorians can get the care they deserve and need, when they need it.”

Rural and regional hospitals were buckling under the strain of under-staffing long before the COVID pandemic.

Local health workers are working hard to keep up with community demand, but the pandemic has heightened pressure on the under-resourced workforce to a point where it’s now costing lives.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said about 10 per cent of the workforce at Bairnsdale hospital were off sick with COVID, adding to unbelievable strain on staff.

“I know many people who work at the hospital, I know the sort of hours they’ve been working, the stress they’ve dealing with and the strict framework of rules they’ve diligently navigated for more than two years – they’re our local heroes,” Mr Bull said.

“But they can only do so much when the rural health workforce is so under-prepared and under-resourced by State Labor – even before the massive strain and uncertainty of the pandemic.

“They are just overwhelmed at the moment. Now we’ve got a local family in mourning.

“My thoughts are with them today and I’m worried that more local families will experience the same devastation in the future if no action is taken to fix Victoria’s health crisis.”

Georgie Crozier MP Tim Bull MP

Shadow Minister for Health Nationals Member for Gippsland East