The Government of Western Australia’s move to boost paramedic numbers in WA is nothing but “smoke & mirrors”, according the WA’s ambulance union.
United Voice said that the recent announcement was little more than what had already been revealed in last years budget, and that it would not repair the cracks in WA’s embattled ambulance service.
“The report is nothing more than smoke and mirrors,” said United Voice secretary Dave Kelly.
“The fact of the matter is the clear lack of resources is still not being addressed.”
Mr Kelly’s comments come after Health Minister Kim Hames revealed nearly 150 million dollars will be spent upgrading St John Ambulance Service over the next 4 years. In response to an independent review of ambulance service operations, the upgrade includes over 300 extra paramedics and officers.
Minister Hames unveiled a report which addressed 13 recommendations. Prominent features included new I.T. systems fir staff, new safety and quality monitoring, and more ambulances in a bid to improve non government organisations that run ambulance services across the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
22 new patient transport and ambulances are on the road already, and 4 new depots have opened. In addition to this, 24 new communication officers and 79 new paramedics have begun work.
Despite the improvements, Mr Kelly said the government was providing 24-hour access to emergency services for the community and that more still needed to be done.
“The Dawesville depot will only have a station manager and some volunteers – no professional paramedics will be available,” he said.
“And in Ellenbrook, the depot is only open set hours for four days a week.”