MY column last week seems to have ruffled a few feathers in some quarters.
The suggestion now appears to be that there is “confusion” over paramedic response times in Orange.
There’s no need for confusion.
The response time is the time from when a caller first rings 000 to when an ambulance gets to a patient. That’s the nationally-accepted measure.
Nothing could be clearer or simpler.
Over the past 12 months, the average response time for Orange ambulance station to attend a patient has been 9.32 minutes.
From 000 call to arrival at patient.
That compares very favourably against the rest of NSW.
The Ambulance Service aims for a response time of 10.2 minutes.
So in Orange, we’re well ahead of both the state average and the state benchmark for response times.
That seems to be an inconvenient truth for some.
Another inconvenient truth is that council issued a statement saying that paramedic numbers in Orange hadn’t kept pace with population growth.
But doing the maths on their own figures actually showed they had kept pace. You’d have thought they would have checked!
Yet another furphy that’s being put about is that there have been budget cuts to the ambulance service.
There have been no cuts to the NSW Ambulance budget. It increased by more than $15 million this year to $678.9 million.
The state health budget has also gone up by 5.2 per cent to $17.3 billion.
And the Western Local Health District budget is also up, by $27.4 million.
The fact remains that when Orange City Council debated the paramedic issue, it had nobody from the management of the Ambulance Service address the meeting to tell the other side of the story – only union representatives.
If I thought for a moment that we had a paramedic crisis in Orange, I’d be first in demanding more.
The debate about issues like paramedics is a very important part of living in a vibrant democracy.
Part of that process is being able to tell the other side of the story – no matter how inconvenient that may be to hear.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.