Confirmation that a Labor-stacked committee will be undertaking an investigation into Ambulance services in Western Australia, clearly illustrates that St John’s is the McGowan Government’s latest scapegoat in their shameful handling of Western Australia’s ongoing health crisis.
“Ambulance ramping is caused because patients can’t get into the ED and therefore the hospital system, due to the inefficiencies, overcrowding and a lack of resourcing of our hospitals,” Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said.
“This is clearly an attempt to divert attention away from the crisis in the health system they created and are now ignoring.
“The health crisis is the result of the failings in the first four years of the McGowan Government to invest in our health system. Under the McGowan Government, spending on health has not kept pace with demand.
“When Labor was in Opposition, we saw heavy criticism of the former Liberal National Government when ramping reached 1030 hours, yet it has been well over this level for the last 12 months.
“In January, ambulances were ramped for 4170 hours – four times the amount that Roger Cook labelled a ‘crisis’ when he was in Opposition and rolling out the ‘horror stories’ he’d heard of people waiting for ambulances.
“The Government needs to focus on fixing our health system.
“Instead, in another effort to deflect and blame, WA Labor is using it’s majority on the Public Administration Committee to push for an inquiry into St John Ambulance.
“They are making a scapegoat of a well respected organisation that is doing a great job, despite the Government’s management of the health system making it much more difficult.
“Maybe they want to take the contract for ambulance services off St John so they can bury the ramping data and hide their woeful record in managing Western Australia’s health system.
“The fact is, the McGowan Government can’t manage the health system, so it is extraordinary to think they can run an ambulance service with no experience.”
• The Council of Ambulance Authorities has conducted the Patient Experience Survey in Australia since 2002. The latest report was published in September 2020. In WA, overall patient satisfaction was 97% compared to 98% nationally and 99% in WA last year.
• WA had the highest call taker helpfulness score in Australia.
• The Report on Government Services produced by the Productivity Commission noted that in 2019-20, WA’s expenditure per head of population was $47 less per person than the national average.