Tilley vows to look into Wodonga’s healthcare

BENAMBRA MP Bill Tilley yesterday committed to finding out why paramedic crews are being left stranded at Border hospitals looking after patients.

Mr Tilley said the situation was clearly unacceptable.

“I don’t like to see for a moment our ambulance paramedics tied up looking after people when they should be available responding to critical health incidents,” he said.

“But the significant thing is I haven’t spoken directly with Albury Wodonga Health on this issue.

“I will be seeking them out, and also seeking out Ambulance Victoria on their views, to see where the issues of patient care are being held up with paramedics having to look after patients.”

Mr Tilley said any number of factors, including determining whether there was an issue with the triaging system, might have to be investigated.

“I know that the Coalition government has supported short-stay beds,” Mr Tilley said.

“It’s getting the flow-through (accident and emergency) into treatment and whatever happens there.”

Mr Tilley said because the Border was a growing region, it had to be determined whether “an element of heightened activity” had contributed to the problem.

“We’re in the summer season where people are possibly being a bit more adventurous and the warmer weather can have an effect on people’s health,” he said.

But Mr Tilley said he was not going to jump to any conclusions before getting a response to his queries.

“I need to rely on the experts and see whether they can develop a case to ensure that this isn’t an ongoing problem and concern for our community.”

Albury Wodonga Health chief executive Stuart Spring previously told The Border Mail he was aware of the problem, which he emphasised had no impact on patient care.

Dr Spring said all patients were treated, even if that had to be on an ambulance stretcher, after they were triaged.

He hoped the opening “within the next few weeks” of some short-stay beds next to the Albury emergency department might relieve the situation.

Dr Spring said the long-term solution was a new emergency department in Albury.

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