NSW Labor will oppose the Health Services Amendment (Ambulance Services) Bill because it opens up our State’s ambulance services to a wider privatisation.
When NSW Parliament resumes on September 8, Labor will also move amendments to ensure protections are put in place for patients transported by private operators if the laws are passed.
In a speech to the Committee for Economic Development (CEDA), Health Minister Jillian Skinner admitted that the ambulance Bill was a precursor to the privatisation of patient transfers.
Any patient, any parent, and member of our community can understand the risks at play in that equation – just like the privatisation of the ambulance service in Victoria under Liberal Premier Jeff Kennett in the 1990s which resulted in patient safety problems.
A Royal Commission had to be established into the botched privatisation of ambulance services in Victoria. It found widespread manipulation of response times.
It also found that an ambulance dispatch company was guilty of illegal activity and even breached the Trade Practices Act. The private company had fudged response times to ensure the public never new how bad quality of the ambulance service.
Shadow Minister for Health Walt Secord has stated , “This is the first step in the Baird Government’s plan to privatise the ambulance service – it won’t fix the ambulance crisis, it will only add to the problems in a hospital system under enormous pressure.”
“Ambulances are lined up outside emergency departments and paramedics are forced to wait hours with patients because of a lack of beds.”
“Any patient, any parent, and member of our community can understand the risks at play in that equation.”
“Families in Victoria certainly understand this due to their experience with the privatisation in the late-1990s by the Liberals. A Royal Commission had to be established into the botched privatisation of ambulance services in Victoria.”
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