Gentleman withheld ambulance data for more than 100 days

FOR more than 100 days, Emergency Services Minister Mick Gentleman withheld official ambulance data, according to documents released under freedom of information.

Canberra Liberals member for Brindabella Andrew Wall says the data withheld revealed that 41.5 per cent of ambulance emergency shifts were working below minimum crewing levels in 2016-17, which means 303 of 730 shifts failed to meet the crewing target – a 36 per cent increase from 2015-16 figures.

He says instead of releasing the data, which was obtained within the standard 30 day deadline, Mr Gentleman’s office directed public servants to make the data sound better, causing significant delays to its public release. 

“On almost a daily basis there are not enough ambulances on ACT roads to service the community, and meet the government’s minimum operational requirements,” Mr Wall says. 

“Rather than addressing underlying issues in the delivery of vital ambulance services, Mr Gentleman has tasked the public service to spin doctor an official government response.  

“Not only has the Minister tasked the public service with spin doctoring, but it appears he also misled the Assembly by blaming the delays on the time taken to retrieve the data.

“Mr Gentleman should be held to account for politicising this process. He also needs to correct the record.”

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