Ambulance Response Time Question to the Premier

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Mr CARBINES (Ivanhoe) — My question is to the Premier. Can the Premier confirm that ambulance response times are today longer at every single metropolitan ambulance branch than they were four years ago?

Dr NAPTHINE (Premier) — I thank the honourable member for his question. I can advise the house that since we have come to government, we have increased the funding for Ambulance Victoria by 23.4 per cent. We have provided $696.5 million in the 2014-15 budget, which is a record level of funding for ambulances in Victoria. That is $132 million more for ambulances than under the Labor government and under the previous health minister. Since coming to government we have provided an extra 539 paramedics, an increase of 21 per cent. In the metropolitan area

Mr Carbines — On a point of order, Speaker, I will not repeat the question, but with regard to relevance I draw your attention to the question that was asked and the answer over the past minute from the Premier. It does not relate to ambulance response times, which was my question.

The SPEAKER — Order! The Premier was being relevant to the topic of the question that was asked.

Dr NAPTHINE — I can advise that in addition to the 539 more paramedics provided by this government, there are nearly 29 000 more shifts since it has come to office. There are 10 new mobile intensive care ambulance (MICA) single responders, and there are 24 new and refurbished ambulance stations across Victoria. We have provided an additional 55 new ambulance vehicles.

I can advise that the recent data shows that we are getting significantly better outcomes in terms of better survival rates, particularly in those who suffer from cardiac arrest. The ambulance officers are able to provide a better response because they are better trained, have got better equipment and have got better access to drugs to deal with those ambulance calls to cardiac situations, and we are getting better survival rates. We as a government are providing more money — —

Mr Carbines — On a point of order, Speaker, I again raise the issue of relevance. We are halfway through the allocated time for the Premier to respond to my question that related to ambulance response times and he has not yet made any comment about ambulance response times. This is a critical matter for people not only in my electorate but across Victoria, and we seek an answer from the Premier that relates to the question.

The SPEAKER — Order! The Premier was being entirely relevant to the topic of the question that was asked. As the member knows, the Speaker cannot direct any member how to answer a question.

Dr NAPTHINE — I was advising the house that under the coalition government we have provided more money for Ambulance Victoria, we have 539 more paramedics, we have more ambulance stations, we have more ambulance vehicles, we have more MICA single responders and we are getting better critical patient outcomes. We are delivering the resources that Ambulance Victoria needs to match the needs of communities across Victoria.