ADJOURNMENT - Ambulance Transfers (6.3.2019)
Written on the 6 March 2019
6 March 2019
Georgie Crozier (LIB)
CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) - My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Health, and it relates the ambulance service payments and guidelines.
This is an issue I know Ms Wooldridge is very familiar with as she raised it with the former Minister for Health, Ms Hennessy, on a number of occasions, but she was unsuccessful in her bid to get the minister to meet with Day Hospitals Australia.
I am hoping the new minister, Ms Mikakos, will be willing to do so, as Day Hospitals Australia provide thousands of services to Victorian patients and are an integral part of the Victorian health system and delivery of care. These various day hospitals, of which there are around 50 in Victoria, cater for a range of procedures, such as endoscopy, orthopaedic, ophthalmology, paediatric, dental, gynaecological, urological and plastics procedures. They also provide care and management for a number of mental health patients, who at times are at their most vulnerable, patients who sometimes are using these services as inpatients or for mental health day programsvery vital programs for many Victorians.
The ability of these services to enable Victorians to have choice is something we on this side of the house strongly believe in. Enabling patients to access private health services to take the load off our public system where our sickest and most vulnerable members of the community require the expertise of a range of health professionals is vital for our health system to remain viable. On occasion, patients that attend the services require an ambulance for an emergency if they become unwell, to be transported from the day hospital to an emergency department or for admission to a public hospital.
The day hospitals are footing the bill for that transfer. At times patients are unaware of their ambulance cover and Ambulance Victoria is billing the day hospitals for the services rendered. At times these bills have been waived but in other circumstances the day hospitals have been left with out-of-pocket expenses that are mounting to tens of thousands of dollars.
As was raised by Ms Wooldridge, Ambulance Victoria conducted a clinical review of services and I am of the understanding that in 2015 KPMG also undertook a review of funding for Ambulance Victoria. Day Hospitals Australia are seeking a meeting with the new minister to review the current guidelines so that these vital services can have this billing issue and confusion resolved. The action I seek therefore is that the minister do thismeet with Day Hospitals Australia as a matter of priority.