Woman, 32, found dead after waiting six hours for ambulance

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read

A woman has been found dead in her Melbourne home six-and-a-half hours after she called triple-0.

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley has called for an investigation into the 32-year-old's death earlier this week to determine exactly what happened.

"This is a terrible tragedy and I want to offer my sincere condolences to the patient's family and friends," Mr Foley said.

Ambulance Victoria has confirmed it is investigating the death with the support of Safer Care Victoria.

Two Victoria Ambulance vehicles.
The 32-year-old was dead by the time help arrived more than six hours after she called triple-0. Source: AAP

The woman called for an ambulance reporting numbness and feeling lightheaded shortly before 8pm on Wednesday, but none were available, according to documents seen by The Age newspaper.

Police were called to the woman's Caulfield North home about 3am on Thursday to restrain a dog before paramedics entered.

Officers will prepare a report for the coroner and have said the death is not being treated as suspicious.

The woman's death has highlighted increasing pressure on the state's ambulance services and emergency departments.

'Record' funding provided to Ambulance Victoria

A Victorian government spokesperson said since the end of Covid-19 lockdowns, demand had skyrocketed with 10,000 extra call-outs in the December 2020 quarter.

The 2020/21 state budget provided a record $1 billion in funding for Ambulance Victoria including an extra $136 million for more paramedics and ambulances, the spokesperson said.

An extra $14.8 million investment this year will pay for additional resources such as extra units during peak periods, more paramedics in some regional areas and recruitment of graduate paramedics to fill regional and rural vacancies.

"Paramedics have also had to perform their duties under extra pressure, donning full PPE when treating potential or suspected Covid-19 cases which may impact response times," the spokesperson said.

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