January 11, 2023

Premier Daniel Andrews praises VVED on recent visit

Yesterday morning, The Hon Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria, along with Colin Brooks MP, Acting Minister for Health, visited Northern Hospital Epping to thank our Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED) staff who have supported more than 85,000 Victorians since the service launched in October 2020.

During the visit, Premier Daniel Andrews met with Jennifer Williams AM, Northern Health Board Chair, Siva Sivarajah, Northern Health Chief Executive, Lisa Cox, Acting COO, Dr Loren Sher, Director VVED and Ambulance Vic representatives.

Following a tour of the VVED, the Premier spoke with local and metro media, discussing the need to expand other primary care services and relieve the pressure on emergency departments (EDs).

This includes delivering 25 Priority Primary Care Centres, 30 state-run GP respiratory clinics, and the Better at Home program across the state.

Any pressure we can take off our hospital system is great for patients who need to be in hospital,” said Premier Daniel Andrews.

Dr Loren Sher, Director Victorian Virtual Emergency Department, said the VVED is a much better experience for people than sitting in a busy emergency department.

“We will be working collaboratively [with other health services] to try and increase the ability to keep patients out of the emergency department,” Dr Loren Sher said to 7 News.

“Patients that are advised to attend the ED in some instances will be referred into the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department.”

The VVED helped thousands of people avoid a trip to emergency department over the Christmas and New Year period.

While the VVED treats an average of 300 to 350 Victorians every day, over the holiday period this skyrocketed, with more than 640 patients seen on Boxing Day alone.

“Despite record demand, the doctors and nurses at the Virtual ED did an incredible job ensuring Victorians got the care they needed over the holiday period,” Mr Brooks said.

Dr Loren Sher, Director Victorian Virtual Emergency Department, speaking at the press conference