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Emergency services stoush continues in ‘Monty Python-esque’ war of words

Article image for Emergency services stoush continues in ‘Monty Python-esque’ war of words

Queensland’s emergency services are trading barbs behind-the-scenes following claims police cars have been used as makeshift ambulances in the state’s ramping crisis. 

“The Ambulance Service wasn’t real happy about the Police Union saying police cars are being used to transport people to hospital because the Queensland Ambulance service was in a ‘shambles’,” Neil Breen said.

Neil Breen invited Queensland Ambulance Service Commissioner Russell Bowles onto Breakfast to comment, but the offer was declined. 

Queensland Police Union CEO Ian Leavers responded to Mr Bowles’ refusal in a statement sent to Neil. (See the full statement below)

“While I don’t publish private correspondence I receive, I can confirm Mr Bowles did indeed send me an e-mail on Tuesday that could be best characterised as ‘Monty Python-esque’,” Mr Leavers wrote.

“Things are going well, aren’t they…?” Neil said.

Press PLAY below to hear the full details of the stoush

Read the full statement sent to Neil Breen by Ian Leavers below

Thank-you for sharing with me the Ambulance Commissioner, Russell Bowles’ refusal to appear on your program this morning.

While I don’t publish private correspondence I receive, I can confirm Mr Bowles did indeed send me an e-mail on Tuesday that could be best characterised as ‘Monty Python-esque’.

The Ambulance Commissioner’s refusal to appear on your program speaks volumes of his lack of leadership.

When a leader such as Mr Bowles would prefer to hide in witness protection rather than actually face some questions from a journalist is the precise reason the Queensland Health system is in such a shambles.

The strategy from Queensland Health appears to be “Let’s ignore the media and hope they stop reporting about it ” and that is the exact reason they’re in this mess.

The reality is that, I and all police stand in solidarity with frontline paramedics who are as equally frustrated with the Health system in crisis.

Just as police should not have their police cars ramped at hospitals, so too highly trained medical professionals such as paramedics should not be queued out side hospitals too.

Paramedics signed up to save lives not be queued up like Uber drivers.

Police signed up to keep the public safe and maintain law & order, not ferry patients to hospital.

Many hardworking and dedicated frontline paramedics have called me in recent days to congratulate me and offer me their support for highlighting their current plight.

On Tuesday night I had one person send me photos of a major southeast Queensland Hospital that had 20 ambulances and 6 police cars ramped all at the same time.

With a horrifying reality like that it’s no wonder the best the Ambulance Commissioner can muster is an evasive “no comment”.

It’s interesting that little happened to even acknowledge this crisis affecting police as well as paramedics prior to my going public on Tuesday.

There were no “Crisis meetings” or urgent conversations from Mr Bowles before I raised the issue, which appears to be his preferred modus operandi.

The Health crisis is well known however now, thanks to the ineptitude from senior bureaucrats in the health Department, it is infecting the Queensland Police Service and seriously affecting all police’s ability to keep the community safe.

Hardworking paramedics are just as frustrated as police and it speaks volumes and puts into stark relief for all of us all that is wrong with Queensland Health when one of Queensland Health’s supposed leaders would rather hide under the blankets and be an apologist for a health system in crisis than talk to you.

At least I am, as always, available to talk to you at any time.

 

Image: Nine News 

Neil Breen
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