Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 August 2018) . . Page.. 3487 ..

We should also note that while crewing levels have fallen below the minimum level at times, other data measures indicate that the performance of our ambulance service remains one of the best in the country. The 2017 report on government services showed the ACT’s ambulance code 1 response times were 8.5 minutes for the 50th percentile, second only behind Western Australia at 8.4 minutes, and 13.7 minutes for the 90th percentile, which is the fastest response time in the country. The next best jurisdiction for this indicator was Western Australia at 14.9 minutes.

In 2015-16 ACTAS answered 96.6 per cent of 000 calls in 10 seconds or less, the best response rate of any jurisdiction, and 98 per cent of people surveyed about their experience reported a high level of satisfaction with the service provided by ACTAS. With further investments in our ambulance service through this year’s budget, we anticipate that these outstanding results will continue.

The government is upgrading the ACT ambulance fleet with new electric stretchers and loaders, as well as fitting ambulances and fire trucks with cardiac monitors and defibrillators. The minister has also committed to the recruitment of 23 additional paramedics and two new ambulances for the fleet. All of this reflects the fact that our city is growing and demand for our ambulance services is increasing. The government must continue to invest in this area in order to keep up with the growth that we know is happening in our city.

It is right that the opposition should interrogate the government’s performance against relevant indicators. The review of minimum crewing levels currently underway will shed some light on whether this indicator remains an effective way of measuring ACTAS staffing levels. I will certainly be interested to see the outcomes of the review. It would seem appropriate and reasonable to wait for those outcomes before drawing any further conclusions.

If minimum crewing remains a relevant metric, I expect the review will determine what changes are needed to ensure that it is properly met. In the event that this indicator is no longer appropriate then a proper explanation should be provided as to why it is not appropriate, and it should be replaced with a more accurate and appropriate alternative. It is important that data continues to be collected and shared transparently to report on the staffing levels and overall performance of our ambulance service.

It is also right and appropriate that the opposition ask questions of the minister on this issue, and that he provides accurate and timely answers. As I said earlier, the minister has provided an explanation for the late response on this occasion, and has also provided responses to a range of other questions on this issue. I do not believe that the minister misused or politicised the public service in the answering of this question; therefore I do not think there is a need for him to apologise, as the motion asks.

Instead I believe it is important that the minister is open and transparent with the Assembly and the community about the outcomes of the minimum crewing level review. I understand that the minister has already committed to report back on the outcomes of that process and has reiterated that commitment through the amendment

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video