Our Nurses, Doctors And Paramedics Rise To The Challenge

The Andrews Labor Government is stepping up its fight against flu, making the flu vaccination compulsory for frontline staff in hospital wards.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos today announced the Government has begun working with health experts, unions and hospitals on new rules that ensure nurses, doctors and other staff are fully vaccinated against a host of diseases, including the flu.

The Labor Government already makes the flu shot free for healthcare workers.

High-risk areas such as Intensive Care Units, Neonatal Intensive Care Units and cancer wards will all become areas staff must be vaccinated. Workers who refuse to be vaccinated will be redeployed to other parts of the hospital.

Ms Mikakos also released the latest hospital and ambulance performance data, which shows our paramedics and our hospitals are rising to the challenge of record demand caused by a busy flu season.

Ambulance Victoria recorded the best ever Code 1 response times for the quarter, despite more than 8,500 additional Code 1 emergency patients than the same quarter a year prior.

Despite the flu spike, elective surgery patients are receiving their operations quicker than ever before, with patients being treated within a record median 28 days, compared to up to 42 day blowouts under the Liberals.

The latest data also shows:

  • Hospitals drove down the elective surgery waiting list to 40,210 – 2845 patients fewer than the last quarter, and well below the 50,000 barrier broken by the Liberals before they lost office.
  • Ambulances were called to 75,398 Code 1 patients in the June quarter – a 12 per cent increase compared with the same quarter last year
  • More than half of all ambulance transfers to hospital were completed within 21 minutes – well below the benchmark target of 40 minutes.

The flu season has put enormous strain on our nurses, doctors and paramedics. Already, there have been 40,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza across the state, including 10,000 children and more than 70 deaths.

That’s why we’re backing them with more resources than ever, with a record $12.2 billion including a record $2.5 billion in the Victorian Budget 2019/20.

Vaccination is the best protection against the flu. That’s why the Labor Government is making it mandatory for health workers, and provides the flu shot free for kids under five.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“The flu season has hit Victoria hard but our hospitals and paramedics have done an exceptional job rising to the challenge. It should give all Victorians confidence that they’re in the very best hands.”

“There’s no doubt about it – vaccinations are safe, effective and save lives. That’s why we’re taking action to make sure health workers and patients are protected against dangerous diseases.”