I can’t begin to understand the gut-wrenching panic of finding a loved one, unconscious, moments from their last breath, only to have desperate calls to Triple Zero go unanswered.
But this is exactly the situation a regional Victorian family recently endured.
Swan Hill man Alfred Edwards, 87, passed away after his family tried to get through to emergency services for forty minutes, powerlessly watching as their loved one slipped away.
Victoria is in the midst of a healthcare crisis.
It runs through our ambulance services, our hospital and healthcare workforce, and right through to rural GP clinics.
The challenges of the pandemic and workforce isolation requirements on our hospitals have highlighted the serious problems in our health system that come after decades of neglect by the State Labor Government.
Victoria has been the only state to impose a Code Brown on our hospitals.
Blanket bans on elective surgery have robbed thousands of Victorians of the ability to be independent, pain free and have a better quality of life.
In rural communities, long delays to book in to see a GP or specialist and the frequent turnover of doctors is a story that’s all too common and that’s making sick people sicker.
When people can’t get in to see their GP, potentially serious illnesses go undiagnosed and untreated meaning we’ll see more people coming through the public health system who are critically unwell.
Daniel Andrews has run Victoria’s health system as Premier or Health Minister for 11 of the last 15 years.
In that time, he’s presided over years of underinvestment and a lack of proper planning and preparation which has left our healthcare system unable to stand up to the extra pressure of a global pandemic.
Victoria’s healthcare crisis demands urgent attention.
We need to recover and rebuild from the ground up.
Only a Liberals and Nationals Government will work with public and private healthcare workers and organisations to halve the elective surgery waitlist in our first term.
We will provide better mental health services by making changes to government legislation and funding criteria that will mean an extra 4000 workers can offer mental health treatment to relieve high demand on the workforce following the pandemic.
And for couples seeking to start a family, we’ve committed to never putting IVF on hold.
Regional Victorians deserve to have confidence their healthcare system is properly resourced to keep them well.
This is never more important than in an emergency. Victorian lives depend on it.