State Labor today demanded that the Berejiklian Government guarantee patient safety in the inner-west would not be compromised by its decision to close and sell the Summer Hill ambulance station.
Summer Hill MP Jo Haylen and Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord today visited the site to highlight community concerns about the Berejiklian Government to sell the site as part of privatisation program.
Ms Haylen said the sale of the Summer Hill ambulance station is the latest example of the Berejiklian Government’s obsession with privatisation and the sale of public assets.
Ms Haylen expressed concern that the new network would result in patients in medical emergencies waiting longer for an ambulance due to traffic congestion and having to travel greater distances to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital or Canterbury Hospital.
(The Summer Hill ambulance station is located at 75 Carlton Crescent, Summer Hill.)
In July 2015, the then-Baird Government confirmed that it was closing up to 20 ambulance stations across Sydney.
On September 4, 2017, the NSW Finance Minister Victor Dominello – at budget estimates – admitted it has sold off more than 20,000 properties including schools and public housing dwellings since it came into office in 2011, raking in more than $9.1 billion.
Mr Secord said there was a “cloak of secrecy” surrounding the decision to sell the site.
Mr Secord said NSW had a health and hospital system under enormous pressure.
NSW already has the second longest waits for an ambulance in Australia – after Tasmania.
Independent data shows that Code 1 (high priority) cases take 11 minutes in NSW compared to 8.6 minutes in Qld and 8.4 minutes in WA (Source: Productivity Commission: Report on Government Services 2017)
The national benchmark is set at 10 minutes.
In addition, the Liberal-National Government is spending the third least per capita on its ambulance service in the whole nation (NSW - $115 per person, Vic - $134, QLD - $139, WA - $92) (Source: Productivity Commission: Report on Government Services 2017)
In NSW, during the April to June, 2017 quarter, in 36.3 per cent of priority 1 or emergency incidents the ambulance and paramedics did not arrive within 15 minutes, and 5 per cent waited longer than 30 minutes. For priority 2 or urgent incidents, 24.6 per cent waited longer than 30 minutes and 4.7 per cent of patients waited longer than an hour for an ambulance and paramedics. (Source: independent Bureau of Health Information: quarterly report)
Quotes to attribute to Jo Haylen – Member for Summer Hill
“We are calling on the Berejiklian Government and its Health Minister Brad Hazzard to guarantee community safety won’t be compromised with the closure.”
“Due to heavy traffic congestion in Sydney’s inner west, it will take ambulances even longer to get patients to hospital. This closure puts patient safety at risk.”
“In an emergency, paramedics will tell you that every minute counts.”
“This closure makes no sense. Rather than closing ambulance stations, the Berejiklian Government should be supporting paramedics.”
Quotes to attribute to Walt Secord – Shadow Minister for Health
“NSW already has the longest waits in Australia for an ambulance and this plan will only make that worse.”
“It does not make sense. The decision to close and sell the site is reckless, dangerous and put patients’ safety at risk. This is a recipe for disaster.”
“Unfortunately, under the Liberals in NSW, every piece of public infrastructure has a price tag hanging off of it.”