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Yet Another Second Rate Stand Alone Bureaucracy. ACT Ambulances

By johnboy - 27 November 2013 7

The ABC has word on the blithering incompetence of the ACT Ambulance Service and the Justice and Community Safety Directorate:

Last year 65 ambulance officers were asked to pay back tens-of-thousand of dollars in overpayments because of errors in their personal leave records.

A scathing report by the Fair Work Ombudsman says the Government will be formally cautioned for multiple breaches of the Fair Work and Workplace Relations Acts.

The year-long investigation uncovered what was described as an “unsafe” level of record keeping by the Justice and Community Safety Directorate between 2008 and 2012.

But the Fair Work report found that the problem was not caused by ambulance staff and instead hinted that the Government should consider wiping the remaining debts .

Once again we ask what, aside from senior executives swanning around, do we get from having a stand alone service compared to contracting NSW or even Victoria to leverage their extensive operations?

What’s Your opinion?


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7 Responses to
Yet Another Second Rate Stand Alone Bureaucracy. ACT Ambulances
Deref 6:46 pm 01 Dec 13

snoopydoc said :

What do we get from having our own ambulance service?

Frankly, a higher and more consistent level of pre-hospital clinical expertise and performance, compared to other states and territories.

/me claps snoopydoc.

IrishPete 8:46 am 01 Dec 13

knuckles said :

IrishPete said :

johnnycash said :

I have no idea how ACT Ambulance Service runs their internal bureaucracy but I can say that the one time I needed the ambulance pronto – young fella having an asthma attack – they were at my door very, very quickly.

And I’ve had a situation where they refused to promptly attend a potentially life-threatening situation (medication overdose) because they were about to have a shift change. God forbid they’d have to pay someone a few hours overtime just to save a life. And I was an ACT Health employee, at work, at the time – while we waited for the ambulance and monitored the client for, well for death, other people didn’t get the service we provided. I love joined up government. One day I might actually see it.

I hope my experience wasn’t the norm, but no-one should assume their good experience is completely representative either.

IP

And did the patient die?
I’m guessing no.
Just because you think it’s an emergency doesn’t make it an emergency
Luckily they have trained and qualified staff to make that decision.

You can’t always make that assessment on the phone. The overdose was potentially fatal. I know that. The call centre knew that. But the shift change took priority.

If the patient didn’t die it may be because I escalated the call through other channels and an ambulance came, whether any quicker or not I do not know. The patient was already experiencing chest pain, and the medical consequences of this particular medication in overdose are cardiac. If I had phoned up and reported a person experiencing chest pain and not mentioned the overdose, I wonder would they have come quicker without argument.

And although the person was well-known to mental health services for this kind of behaviour, that experience was entirely interstate – they were not previously known to ACT Health nor ACTAS, as they were new to the ACT. I love joined up government, and I hope I live to see it.

IP

knuckles 3:58 pm 29 Nov 13

IrishPete said :

johnnycash said :

I have no idea how ACT Ambulance Service runs their internal bureaucracy but I can say that the one time I needed the ambulance pronto – young fella having an asthma attack – they were at my door very, very quickly.

And I’ve had a situation where they refused to promptly attend a potentially life-threatening situation (medication overdose) because they were about to have a shift change. God forbid they’d have to pay someone a few hours overtime just to save a life. And I was an ACT Health employee, at work, at the time – while we waited for the ambulance and monitored the client for, well for death, other people didn’t get the service we provided. I love joined up government. One day I might actually see it.

I hope my experience wasn’t the norm, but no-one should assume their good experience is completely representative either.

IP

And did the patient die?
I’m guessing no.
Just because you think it’s an emergency doesn’t make it an emergency
Luckily they have trained and qualified staff to make that decision.

IrishPete 2:23 pm 29 Nov 13

johnnycash said :

I have no idea how ACT Ambulance Service runs their internal bureaucracy but I can say that the one time I needed the ambulance pronto – young fella having an asthma attack – they were at my door very, very quickly.

And I’ve had a situation where they refused to promptly attend a potentially life-threatening situation (medication overdose) because they were about to have a shift change. God forbid they’d have to pay someone a few hours overtime just to save a life. And I was an ACT Health employee, at work, at the time – while we waited for the ambulance and monitored the client for, well for death, other people didn’t get the service we provided. I love joined up government. One day I might actually see it.

I hope my experience wasn’t the norm, but no-one should assume their good experience is completely representative either.

IP

johnnycash 1:48 pm 29 Nov 13

I have no idea how ACT Ambulance Service runs their internal bureaucracy but I can say that the one time I needed the ambulance pronto – young fella having an asthma attack – they were at my door very, very quickly.

snoopydoc 1:08 pm 29 Nov 13

What do we get from having our own ambulance service?

Frankly, a higher and more consistent level of pre-hospital clinical expertise and performance, compared to other states and territories.

HiddenDragon 12:36 pm 27 Nov 13

The economies of scale argument is always appealing, but one wonders whether – in this case as in others from the ACT administration – there are questions of attitude and true accountability in what, from the outside, looks like a fairly cosy operation.

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