Ambulance Employees Australia Victoria (AEAV) is calling for an independent review of the ambulance sector’s performance following the seventh Code Red of 2022.
During a Code Red, the Melbourne metropolitan area is often left without any ambulances available to attend the most critical cases and patients are asked to find their own way to hospital.
AEAV is calling for a wide-ranging review of ambulance services performance by the Victorian Ombudsman, with the focus on the historical issues that led to the current crisis.
AEAV Secretary Brett Adie said the ambulance system is continuing to fail the Victorian community.
“We can’t just keep blaming COVID for the woes in the sector. There is no doubt that COVID has been the catalyst, but the root cause of the current issues is far more insidious,” Mr Adie said.
“If we don’t understand the underlying issues that led to the current crisis then how can the public or paramedics have any confidence that things will improve.
“Since 2015 Ambulance Victoria have driven their staff into the ground to achieve KPI’s and used these KPI’s to hide their failures.
“Whether it was single officer responding to “Stop the clock” – whereby an ambulance responds to a patient regardless of it being the most appropriate resource or not – or manipulating welfare stats to
make things look better than they were, the responsibility sits with those who let the sector be driven into the ground and kept ignoring or hiding the undeniable indicators.
“The government and Ambulance Victoria cannot be trusted to be honest about the cause of the crisis. Critical eyes need to look through the COVID smokescreen to find the real cause,” Mr Adie
The Union is calling for a review similar to the one recently conducted at Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA), which found significant historical issues that led to the crisis there.
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