MEDIA Release 17th November 2021
The Ambulance Employees Association has tabled our petition, which calls for adequate funding for the Ambulance Service, and an end to ramping by whatever means necessary. Our petition has received the support of over 44,000 South Australians.
Ambulance response times to emergency cases are their worst on record, according to the latest State Budget.
Concurrently, ambulance crews are spending longer and longer ramped at hospitals. In May alone, we hit a new monthly record – 2,800 hours lost to ramping – quadruple the number of hours since the Marshall Government was elected. This is the equivalent of 8 x 12 hour crews every day of the month, sitting at hospital, not available for other emergencies. The second highest month on record was recorded in August with 2,727 hours. “These are not just numbers on paper – each one of these hours represent a patient forced to ramp on the doorsteps of care in the back of an ambulance and patients left waiting in the community” said AEA Secretary Leah Watkins.
“For too long, the stories of our ambos have fallen of deaf ears. Stories of immeasurable suffering, of depravation of dignity, and death. Stories of ambos working 12-14 hours without a single break, pushed to the point of exhaustion. Our petition sends the strongest message to the Parliament that the health and safety of our ambos, and all South Australians is of paramount importance. Currently, that is in jeopardy” said Ms. Watkins.
The AEA’s General Secretary will be speaking on the steps of Parliament House at 1pm today, Wednesday 17th November alongside Paramedic and President of the AEA Lynsey Irwin. Community Members Mel Mountstephen, Stacey Butler and Alessia Masson will be speaking of the direct impacts delayed ambulance responses have impacted them and their families. We will be in attendance, along with ambos and members of the public.
AUTHORISED BY LEAH WATKINS, SECRETARY 0400 491 387