Bread and Circuses


Bread and circuses” (or bread and games) (from Latin: panem et circenses) is metonymic for a superficial means of appeasement. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the creation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace.”

Last Sunday, the Victorian Premier Mr Denis Napthine opened the new Emergency Services Training Centre in Cragieburn.

A grand event no doubt, but most definitely nothing more than a circus. While Victorian professional firefighters were attending Denis’s display, front line fire stations were unstaffed. That is to say essentially closed.

But they were not the only ones. Over the weekend numerous ambulance shifts were dropped. Several ambulances ran as single officer ambulances apparently due to lack of staff.

But staff, who apparently were not available to attend Victorians in their time of need, were apparently available for the premier’s publicity stunt. His circus.

It is no doubt a good idea to have such a facility, but lets be honest, no on road paramedic is ever going to attend the facility as Ambulance Victoria just don’t have the staff to release from duty as it is.

They don’t have the ability to provide staff with the two days of in service training per annum they are supposed to under current agreements. They are indeed seeking to reduce this as we speak.

And replace it with an online service, running on an intranet that is so slow it is incapable of running anything but the most basic service. Certainly not adequate for the continuing education of health professionals.

And  yes they want it to replace face to face training, not augment it. Then when it goes wrong they will hang individual paramedics out to dry, and refuse to accept that they hold any responsibility for the mess they create.

Yes, I hope you enjoyed the show, because that’s what it was

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