Shadow health minister Georgie Crozier has vowed to fix Victoria’s health system if the Coalition is victorious at Saturday’s election.
Health has firmed as a major issue for voters in the election campaign, alongside energy and addressing the state’s massive debt.
Overnight Ambulance Victoria called a code orange which means extra staff is required to meet a surge in demand, which was confirmed by the Victorian Ambulance Union Secretary Danny Hill.
“Yes can confirm Code Orange last night. Hospital covid cases rising,” he wrote.
“1000 health workers furloughed. Including 105 paramedics.
“AV sent out an SMS looking for six extra paramedics to work overtime which Code Orange allows them to do.”
A damning report was handed down to the Andrews government in September which found 33 Victorians died waiting for ambulances over a two-year period.
Ms Crozier laid the blame for the failing system at the feet of the government, arguing it continues to worsen under Labor.
“There are just rolling code oranges all the time,” she told Peta Credlin.
“We have got dozens of patients ramped on stretchers; they can’t get into the emergency department. There’s clogging throughout the system.
“The government hasn’t fixed this and the crisis is still going and it’s getting worse.
“We have had so many Victorians that have tragically died because of the failures and people deserve to have a health system that is actually working.”
To address the failures in the health system, the Coalition has pledged to halt progress on the contentious Suburban Rail Loop and divert the money.
Former top Commonwealth Finance Department economist and ex-chief economist at Australian Super Stephen Anthony said the project was the “blue-ribbon loser of fiscal policy” in Australia.
“That’s just dreadful,” Mr Anthony told 3AW on Wednesday.
“It is the worst infrastructure project of all time. It is a disgrace.”
The independent Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) estimated in August both stages of the project will cost a combined $125 billion – more than double Labor’s original $57 billion projection.
Ms Crozier said health must be the priority going forward, reaffirming support for shelving the massive infrastructure project.
“We have to have health as a priority. We have to fix what is a crumbling health system,” she said.
“We make no apology to say we will shelve the Suburban Rail Line – the Cheltenham to Box Hill rail line – and put every available cent into health.”
Overnight the Premier and Opposition leader, Matthew Guy, went head-to-head overnight in the Englishheadline/Herald Sun People’s Forum with 100 undecided voters in the room.
Mr Andrews narrowly edged out Mr Guy by four votes with 28 remaining undecided. Despite this the Premier remains favourite to win on Saturday.
During the debate Mr Guy directly blamed the broken healthcare system on the Labor government, which is seeking its third term.
“Daniel, your government has broken the health system,” Mr Guy said.
“You’ve had eight years, ideas, and I intend to fix the damage you’ve done.”