ACT Labor to abandon expensive ambulance equipment rather than fix the problem

It’s concerning that ACT Labor is planning to abandon transmission functions of its lifesaving defibrillators installed in ACT Ambulances because it can’t fix issues associated with the gear. It again raises questions about the government’s due diligence before a decision was made to purchase it, Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Brendan Smyth said today.

“ACT Labor spent nearly $4 million for the Phillips cardiac monitors/defibrillators, but the lifesaving gear continues to be plagued by faults preventing the transmission of electrocardiograph (ECG) information,” Mr Smyth said.

“This is important information which allows the hospital to prepare for a patient’s condition ahead of an ambulance arriving at the hospital.

Chief Officer of the ACT Ambulance Service David Foote told 666 radio this morning that:
“…We’ll get to a point in the transmission protocol where we won’t transmit the ECG, we’ll simply make contact with the officer at the hospital…”

“If the equipment doesn’t work properly, it raises questions about the procurement process. Whether or not it was rigorous or whether or not proper probity principles were applied. Only after the money was spent are ambulance officers forced to deal with failing gear.

“It seems like very poor process for the government to purchase lifesaving equipment, roll it out across the ACT Ambulance fleet, and then find it doesn’t work properly.

“This is lifesaving equipment which needs to work 100 percent of the time. Minister Joy Burch needs to take guarantee this,” Mr Smyth concluded.