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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 February 2018) . . Page.. 135 ..


(c) the December 2017 announcement that the ACT Government will recruit 23 additional paramedics and deliver two new ambulances, in addition to the recruitment of 11 paramedics currently underway; and

(3) calls on the Government to:

(a) review the minimum crewing level to determine whether it remains an appropriate guide to allocate ambulance resources to meet variable levels of demand;

(b) monitor ambulance resources and staffing to ensure continued strong performance by ACTAS as measured by response times and patient satisfaction; and

(c) monitor staff wellbeing to ensure continued support for our frontline service staff.”.

Community safety will always be one of this government’s highest priorities, which is why we are providing the support and the resources for our front-line personnel. The government acknowledges that the demand on our ACT Ambulance Service is at the highest level ever. Demand for ambulance response in Canberra has increased by 25 per cent since 2012-13. Demand is driven in part by overall population increase but also by an increase in the ageing population. This is a common issue for ambulance services across all jurisdictions.

Despite this increase in demand over the past five years, the ACT has continued to record the best response times in the country, as well as the highest levels of patient satisfaction. Let me reiterate that: the ACT has continued to record the best response times in the country during this time, as well as the highest levels of patient satisfaction. It is due to the professionalism, hard work and skill of the women and men of ACTAS that our response times have remained the fastest. However, with increasing community demand it is important that our paramedics, ambulance officers and staff have the right support to do their jobs well and safely.

For this reason, in December last year I announced a major funding boost to help our ACTAS staff to continue to maintain the highest standards of service delivery in the nation. The package is made up of a number of parts, the first of which relates to the government’s election commitment to provide an extra ambulance crew on the road. This part of the announcement allows for the recruitment of 15 paramedics to commence in the 2018-19 financial year and the purchase of two new ambulances with powered stretchers.

The second part allows for the immediate employment of an additional eight paramedics to enhance the current roster and support relief arrangements. The intention of this part of the package is to allow for greater access to staff leave whilst maintaining our rostered staffing levels. These additional eight paramedics have already commenced.

I want to touch on that point: I want to talk on rosters and leave. Having worked shift work for 11 years I understand completely the pressure on paramedics to achieve their rosters, and I understand their desire to be able to take leave when needed. Of course, the response to that is working overtime shifts to cover that leave, and I thank them


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