A Wodonga paramedic of about 30 years says the last three months have been incredibly busy, after Victoria reported a record demand for people seeking emergency care throughout the pandemic.
The Victorian Health Services Performance Report for the 2020/21 April-June quarter shows paramedics responded to an extra 17,535 call outs, a 26.2 per cent increase on the same period last year.
In total Victoria paramedics attended 84,441 time-critical cases between April and June this year, the highest demand on record for this time of year, and the second highest quarterly result in Victoria's history.
Paramedic Peter Lock said he wasn't surprised by the report.
"We've appeared to be doing so much more work in the last three to six months than in the time prior to that," he said.
"The last quarter we would often go from job to job to job, like you'd just clear the hospital from one job and they'd give you another one, and another one, and another one.
"It meant that crews were missing out on meal breaks often or rest breaks.
"We were just really busy."
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This funding will deliver 300 more paramedics, triage nurses and support staff for Ambulance Victoria.
Mr Lock said the extra paramedics would be welcomed, but more would be even better.
"We probably need to increase the number of staff that are available," he said.
"Many hands make light work, if there's more staff available, it just spreads the load more evenly."
Mr Lock said more paramedics would mean better care for patients.
"If there's more ambulances available, we're more likely to get to people in a quicker time," he said.
Ambulance Victoria chief executive Tony Walker said more than 37,000 calls to Triple Zero last quarter did not require an emergency response and 20,000 patients who received an ambulance did not require transport to hospital.
"Every call we get that is not an emergency impacts on our ability to get to people in the community who need us the most," he said.
"We are asking every Victorian to work with us by saving Triple Zero for emergencies and seeing your GP or pharmacist early for advice or treatment."
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