Metropolitan Victoria residents were warned to expect delays during the situation that lasted for about three and a half hours overnight.
“Ambulance Victoria is experiencing an extremely high demand for ambulances in the metropolitan region,” Ambulance Victoria said, not long after midnight on Wednesday.
“It is likely there will be a delay in an ambulance reaching you.”
Just after 3am, the service said the “code red” had been downgraded as “demand for ambulance services has eased”.
Just before Christmas, the Victorian Ambulance Union revealed mobile intensive care ambulances had been unable to attend several serious callouts because demand was outstripping supply.
Up to a third of Melbourne was left without specialist coverage at times, leaving regular paramedics to deal with complex situations, union secretary Danny Hill said.
“What we’re seeing is the resources are so thin, that our MICA paramedics, which should be reserved for the highest acuity cases – they’re just being sent to patients with back pain, intoxicated patients, patients who are vomiting,” he said.
“That’s not what they’re there for.
“A patient’s outcome will be poor if MICA paramedics don’t attend.”
Victorians were reminded to call NURSE ON CALL (1300 60 60 24) or visit their local GP for their less severe issues, saving triple zero calls for emergencies.