More critically ill patients are seeking medical attention at Bendigo Health, and the hospital’s elective surgery waiting lists have shrunk, according to the latest data from the Victorian health department.
Almost 500 more people attended the hospital’s emergency department in the last quarter of 2016-17 than for the same time the previous year.
Almost 13,000 people sought treatment at the Bendigo ED in the three months before July 1.
Hospital arrivals to Bendigo Health also grew by 300 over the same period.
The data, released this week by health minister Jill Hennessy, revealed every category 1 emergency patient was seen immediately upon their arrival.
Our ambulance and health services are in the frontline giving patients the first class care they need and deserve, when they need it.Jill Hennessy, health minister
Ambulance response times in Bendigo were also improving, with 80.2 per cent of ambulances now arriving to the most serious of call-outs within 15 minutes.
That figure was just 73.7 per cent at the same time last year.
It took Bendigo ambulances an average of 12 minutes to reach patients in critical need of medical attention.
Health minister Jill Hennessy put the improved performance down to state government reforms, including the employment of 450 new paramedics.
“Our ambulance and health services are in the frontline giving patients the first class care they need and deserve, when they need it,” Ms Hennessy said.
But ambulance performance in areas around the City of Greater Bendigo was less reliable.
Loddon shire was the state’s worst off local government area for code 1 response times, with just 19.8 per cent of calls attended to within a 15-minute window.
The 60 Buloke shire residents who called for an ambulance in the most recent financial quarter waited an average of 42 minutes to receive medical attention.
Only Melbourne’s Mooney Valley fared worse.
Bendigo Health was contacted for comment.