The King is Dead


The King is Dead.
The man who has presided over Victoria’s Ambulance has resigned, interesting choice of timing with the upcoming state election.

The Chair of the Board of Ambulance Victoria said in a press release yesterday,
“During his career Greg has overseen significant progress in the development of ambulance services in Victoria including the creation of Ambulance Victoria, consolidation of communication systems and world leading improvements in the use of emergency medical data to deliver improved patient outcomes, particularly in the area of cardiac arrest, just to name a few.”

I always love the way history is rewritten at times like these, particularly when executives leave for “family reasons”, as they so often do.

He has also presided over an organisation with a staff suicide rate many times that of the general population.
He also presided over an organisation with, I am told the highest staff work related injury rate in the state.
In fact I believe, at any given time about ten per cent of paramedics are off injured.
He also presided over an organisation where staff suffer far too much depression, anxiety and other mental illness.
He also presided over an organisation where bullying, intimidation and thuggery is, in my experience, endemic and regarded as a legitimate management style.
He also presided over an organisation where staff leave at such a rate, it really is not unusual in metropolitan Melbourne at least to have less than two or three years experience on the cars.

He has overseen a deterioration in ambulance response times in Victoria to the point that not a single region in the state can meet the government mandated response targets of fifteen minutes.
A target that has no basis in science as far as I can ascertain, more political convenience. If you cant meet the target move the goal seems to be the mantra.
At a time when most industrialized nations have a response time target of eight minutes, and indeed in London they are striving for a five minute target in cardiac arrest.
All this while in at least one Victorian region, according to The Age, could only manage a lights and sirens response time of 42 minutes.
Even some of AV’s so called successes make me wonder, they are forever harping over cardiac arrest survival rates, but when challenged to produce the data they refuse. WHY?

But make no mistake he did not do this alone.
He appointed a large bureaucracy of executives, and industrial warriors and public relations propagandists to support him.
He did all this while the current board sat by and watched.

They were well aware of the goings on, many paramedics told them many times. I myself have written to the past chair Professor Johannes U (Just) Stoelwinder, however no reply was forthcoming.

Believe my words the broom still has a bit of work to do.
I pray this is just the prelude.

I hope Greg is not just the scape goat for all those who are still there to stay and continue their disgraceful conduct.
I really do wish him well, but I mourn for the loss of a once great service before the corporate warriors took over.
Although it is a little difficult to feel too sorry for him, by my calculations his payout will be in excess of two and a half million dollars.
I doubt he’ll suffer the struggles of the on road paramedic.

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4 Responses to The King is Dead

  1. Jim Hall says:

    So is this a good thing or a bad thing that he is leaving?
    Will it make any difference to the mode of operation of AV?
    Jim Hall.

  2. Tha Phat Controller says:

    As Contact front has very well explained there are many more negatives than there are positives from his tenure. There needs to be a total “new broom” approach as soon as is possible. The organization has become unwieldy to the point that it has continually employed people to fill roles that are just not needed, in fact they seemed to create roles that were unknown previously and totally confusing to paramedics as to their purpose in the scheme of things. All this has taken the focus away from the core business, that of providing a service to the community. In fact this man even removed the word service from the title which once was formerly known as Ambulance SERVICE Victoria, whereas it is now Ambulance Victoria, no more service, at least in the title. The “company” has become just that a “company”, alas no longer a service. To answer Jim Halls question, nothing initially, and in the absence of a total flush out of the corporate head office followed by a complete restructure (read slash and burn) of the abundance of “specialised” managerial positions, then not much will change. I can just picture the jostling for position at the moment of those who would be king, pushing their agendas and gathering their forces in much the same way a political caucus does when attempting to vote in a new leader. This will be a bun fight the equal of which has never been witnessed in the annals of Ambulance in Victoria. Perhaps now is the time to hold a parliamentary review into Ambulance Victoria, especially if and when there is a change of government in November, l would also be including DHS in any review as they just seem to have nothing but contempt for Ambulance, it may also be an opportune time to separate Ambulance from health and incorporate it into Emergency Services. The King has abdicated……or has he?

    • Darren says:

      Time to have a cull bring in fresh people that look after its own so that we can look after others

    • Jim Hall says:

      Maybe bring in the other emergency service, the fire brigade, with BIG hoses to flush things out.

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