Confirmation that the number of Victoria’s most skilled paramedics was reduced by the Andrews Labor Government during the COVID pandemic is an utter failure for every Victorian who suffered through the world’s longest lockdown.
The Ambulance Victoria 2020-21 Annual Report confirms full-time equivalent Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) paramedic staff were cut over the first 18 months of the COVID pandemic.
Despite the onset of the pandemic in February 2020, the number of MICA paramedics was reduced from 564.1 in June 2020 to 547.4 in June 2021 – a cut of more than 8 two-person MICA crews.
Further, the number of MICA paramedics in training also reduced across this period, despite promises that lockdowns were being used to prepare the health system.
MICA paramedics are highly trained with an enhanced clinical skill set to respond to the most serious and life-threatening situations.
Confirmation of this cut follows at least five Ambulance Code Reds being called this year – including a period this week where no ambulances were available to respond to emergency calls across Melbourne.
Shadow Minister for Ambulance Services, Georgie Crozier, said Victorians had been let down by a government obsessed with putting spin and politics before people.
“As Victorians suffered through the world’s longest lockdown, instead of preparing the health system, Daniel Andrews was cutting it.”
“At the start of the pandemic, Labor cut triple-zero call takers and they cut MICA paramedics – is it any wonder why our health system is now in crisis?”
“Now, in the middle of a health crisis of his own making, Daniel Andrews has ripped a further $2 billion out of the health budget.”
“The person who created the health crisis is not the one to fix it. Only a change of government will give Victorians the healthcare they deserve – remember this November.”
Georgie Crozier MP
Shadow Minister for Ambulance Services