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Pressure mounts on government amid ambulance ramping crisis

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Pressure mounts on government amid ambulance ramping crisis

There’s pressure on the state government to release details of a financial penalty system for ambulance ramping.

Taxpayers are being slugged every hour an ambulance sits outside WA’s emergency departments through a fine system agreed to between the government and St John Ambulance WA.

6PR’s Liam Bartlett slammed St John Ambulance for refusing to disclose how many fines have been issued or their worth.

“When it comes to public money there should be no such thing as a secret deal,” Bartlett said.

“Tax payers are entitled, in a democracy, to know how much of their money is being charged.”

Ambulance ramping has reached the highest levels on record in WA, with nearly 4,000 hours clocked in December.

Opposition Leader Zak Kirkup told 6PR Mornings the government needs to be more transparent.

“We wouldn’t be in this position if the government had actually managed to deal with the ambulance gridlock crisis that’s confronting this state,” he said.

“We are robbing patients of that money because the government can’t manage our hospital system.”

In a statement the WA Department of Health said they are unable to disclose the amount being paid to St John Ambulance.

“Detail on these payments is commercial in confidence so cannot be released publicly,” a spokesperson said.

“The new pricing model has been implemented to enable SJA to plan and invest in new ambulances and continue to provide a high level of service to the community.”

Click play to hear the full interview. 

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.)

Liam Bartlett
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