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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (5 August) . . Page.. 3518..


MS GALLAGHER: Some people who speak Greek have informed me that "Endoxos"translates roughly as "glorious and honourable". As we can see, nothing could be further from the truth. Those who are responsible, directors and former directors, should hang their heads in shame at these actions that are depriving Canberra's lowest paid workers of their legitimate entitlement to long service leave.

Ambulance service

MS MacDONALD: My question is to the Acting Minister for Health. Further to Mr Smyth's inaccurate claims about ambulances, can the Minister provide more information about our ambulance system? Can he specifically provide information about turnaround times, which he did not mention in his answer to Mr Smyth earlier today?

MR WOOD: Yes, I can indeed show further the inaccuracy of Mr Smyth's claims. We are used to those in this place.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order. How can the Minister comment on statements attributed to me when I have made no statements at all about turnaround times of ambulances? It is either a fabrication of the question asked or a fabrication of-

MR SPEAKER: Order! The member asked a question of the Minister about turnabout times that he had not mentioned before.

Mr Smyth: No, apparently these are statements attributed to me. I have made no statements in the past couple of days about turnaround times. The question is out of order because it is a fabrication.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, you may make a personal explanation later. The question is quite legitimate.

MR WOOD: Mr Smyth has been making claims about the long time that ambulances have to wait at the hospital. If that is not turnaround times, I do not know what is. They are quite wrong. Hospital turnaround times, the time that ambulances wait there-Mr Smyth claims allegedly as mobile wards-are measured from the time the crew arrives until the ambulance crew departs. That includes unloading the patient, doing the paperwork, handing the patient over, the cleanup, restocking of the ambulance, and then they are ready to go.

The ACT Ambulance Service, and generally other ambulance services, has a target hospital turnaround time of 20 minutes on average. In the 2003 financial year, the average turnaround time for our crews was 23 minutes. We would like it to be better. In July 2004, the average turnaround time was still 23 minutes. This is hardly a situation, as alleged by the desperate Leader of the Opposition, of ambulance officers acting as wardsmen. He should acknowledge the time it takes to unload and hand over a patient. There are exceptions to that; that is the average time.

Mr Smyth: What was the longest time?


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