What was the case?

Patrick’s wife applied and paid for family membership of Ambulance Victoria in August 2019.

Later that same night, Patrick had a heart attack. An Ambulance Victoria helicopter flew him from a regional hospital to Geelong Hospital. He recovered and later received a $13,000 bill from Ambulance Victoria.

Patrick asked Ambulance Victoria to withdraw the bill, as his wife had bought membership before the emergency. Ambulance Victoria refused. They told Patrick that according to their business rules, his coverage did not start until 5pm on the day after his wife bought their membership.

Our enquiries

We asked Ambulance Victoria if they had discretion to waive Patrick’s invoice. We understood their rule existed to prevent people purchasing membership in the knowledge that they are going to need an ambulance imminently. In this case, it did not appear that Patrick’s wife had purchased membership with the knowledge that her family would need ambulance services so soon.


Ambulance Victoria agreed to withdraw Patrick’s $13,000 bill.