The state-wide extension of a virtual triage system trialed at the Northern Hospital announced by the Victorian Government yesterday will help ease pressures occurring throughout the health system.

The Northern Hospital trial helped divert 87 per cent of virtually assessed patients away from ambulance transport and EDs while addressing patients’ health concerns.

The trial has been a win-win, helping patients with health issues while reducing the load on ambulance officers and emergency departments facing unprecedented pressure from a health system reeling from the omicron crisis.

AEAV welcomes the continued funding of non-clinical patient transport services to ease the pressure on the overall health system, but we are disappointment that the government is moving to privatise an area where Ambulance Victoria workers are doing an identical job.

Throughout this pandemic the benefits of public ownership and direct control of health assets has been shown time and again, and non-clinical transport should be no different.

The additional funding will help get patients out of hospitals quicker and free up ambulances – which is a positive step – but we strongly suggest the government reconsider its proposal to give this service to a private operator.

Ambulance Victoria already has a Clinic Transport Service that performs this function. If it is inadequate then the first priority should be to properly resource it, not handing out the role to a private company.

Read the full media release here. 

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