Paramedics in Victoria have been under a lot of pressure and according to Union Secretary Danny Hill, the solution could just be as simple as having more General Practitioners carry part of the load.
Victoria’s ambulance union says that non-emergency calls are currently clogging the system, and lives could be saved if more patients were able to be seen by GPs. Hill said that there is no question. Some patients who have passed away could have been saved by paramedics if there were more GPs seeing people.
Victorians have been forced to call triple zero because of a massive shortage of General Practitioners and this has been keeping paramedics from attending serious incidents. “We’ve got patients going into cardiac arrest in the community and our paramedics can’t respond often because they’re tied up at quite low acuity cases that could be treated by a GP,” said Hill.
The situation is heightened by the increase in Code 1 cases which were up 16.2% according to statistics released from October to December 2021, these are the most severe cases including cardiac arrest. On-going ramping issues continue to occur in Melbourne hospitals.
According to The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, work needs to be done to attract more doctors, and solve the shortage issue.
Victoria’s Dr. Anita Munoz from the RACGP reportedly said there is a lack of long-term funding for general practitioners. “The federated model of funding in health no longer makes as much sense as it used to,” Munoz said.
A virtual emergency department for non-life-threatening emergencies has been running out of the Northern Hospital. According to the ambulance union, services like this are offering patients more options.
Danny Hill said that this sort of thing frees up paramedics, so they have more time to attend critical cases and he also suggested that super clinics are another fantastic option.