Earlier this week a Melbourne Paramedic was interviewed about a delay waiting at a major Melbourne Trauma centre of in one mans case 80 minutes in a hospital corridoor waiting for a bed after a high speed, high impact car accident.
While even the hospital acknowledges it is an unacceptable situation, the only response from government was for Mr Ashley Gardiner, the press secretary to the Victorian Minister for Health, Mr David Davis to attempt to shift the blame to “a few hard line left wing unionists who seek to use patients as pawns” in an industrial dispute.
Offensive and cowardly man.
In reply to this government spin doctor, the paramedic wrote this.
I don’t think there is anything I could add.
Dear Mr Gardiner,
I am a Paramedics with almost 16 years experience. I have spent the past 11 years at Melbourne’s busiest MICA units.
Over that time I been committed to providing a high level of care to people across Melbourne, the same people you are payed to represent in an ethical manor.
My Job can be very emotionally rewarding and at other times emotionally devastating. For example:
last week on Easter Sunday, whist you were enjoying time with family, I was walking into a family home, devastated by the death of two beautiful little girls who’s father has since been charged with their murder. Whilst you were eating chocolate and hot cross buns, I was the only Paramedic at the scene, split down the middle, attempting to save their innocent little lives. Whilst you were sitting back and reflecting on a great day, I was crying for the loss of two girls I had never met before.
This week whilst you were in your comfortable office, I was in the rain, again by myself, again split down the middle, again trying to care for two patients at the same time. This time, it was 2 elderly gentlemen involved in a high impact motor vehicle accident. This time both patient were alive, but had suffered injuries that could see that change very quickly. Again I worked to the best of my ability to provide the best outcome for these critically unwell patients.
I don’t expect you to understand my frustration resulting from being forced to stand by and watch the condition of these two men deteriorate before my eyes whilst we waited for a hospital bed at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and realise that my hard work and effort had been completely wasted by a the hospitals inability to provide a bed and therefore, the care that these elderly men required and deserved.
But let me tell you, this level of frustration became insignificant compared to the anger I felt when I read your defamatory comments, accusing me of using these patients as pawns in our industrial campaign. I was asked to provide three inteviews, highlighting the health crisis at the hands of your government. Not once did I mention the ambulance EBA. Not once did I mention or pay and conditions. Not once did I mention Paramedic suicide rates, Paramedic mental health issues, Paramedic retention rates or any of the other issues relating to our unsustainable choice profession.
Paramedics are not highlighting your governments failings resulting in the health crisis to gain a pay rise. We are raising these issues because we care about people. We raise these issues now because we can due to protected action, but as you well know, even if your government did care enough to fix the health crisis, paramedics would be no financially better off at all. The two issues are completely separate and for you and your manipulative government to use this kind of spin is incredibly damaging, insulting, and unethical.
Intensive Care Paramedic
Ashley Gardiner can be contacted at, firstname.lastname@example.org