Startling revelations received yesterday from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Victorian Liberal Nationals show that the Department of Health did not have any documents relating to the impact of COVID-19 into ambulance services.

The FOI request illustrated that no such documents existed in the Department. After Victoria underwent two lockdowns last year, it is extremely concerning that the Department did not analyse the impacts of COVID-19 into Ambulance Victoria.

We know that COVID-19 has had a massive impact on a range of industries including small business, tourism and education. The ongoing pandemic has also contributed negatively to the mental health of many Victorians, especially young Victorians.

It seems extraordinary given everything that Victoria has gone through, that the Department of Health did not undertake or analyse the impacts of COVID-19 into the life-saving services of Ambulance Victoria.

Victoria’s ambulances services are in crisis with ambulance response times blowing out, Victorians dying while waiting for ambulances to arrive and widespread hospital ramping.

For the Andrews Labor Government not to have undertaken a study in the impacts of COVID-19 illustrates the ongoing incompetence of the Andrews Labor Government to respond appropriately to the pandemic.

Dan has no plan to fix Victoria’s worsening hospital waitlists or ambulance crisis.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Georgie Crozier:

“Ambulance Victoria is a critical element of Victoria’s health services, yet Daniel Andrews has thrown it in the too hard basket.

“For the Department to not have done its own internal or external analysis on the impacts of COVID-19 on the service demonstrates an unwillingness to understand the full extent of last year’s COVID-19 response.

“The Victorian health system needs cultural change, and the Liberal Nationals understand we can’t fix a system unless we acknowledge that it needs more than money.”