The union representing ACT ambulance paramedics says morale is plummeting in the service because workers are struggling to take leave.
Steve Mitchell from the Transport Workers Union has told an ACT Legislative Assembly committee the service is not adequately resourced to deal with ballooning demand.
He says the Government needs to boost staff numbers by more than 40.
Mr Mitchell told the committee some staff are not able to take their leave because there is no full-time manager who can sign off on it.
“There’s no point having a Government policy that you take your leave and give it to the crews when there’s no-one there to approve the leave,” he said.
“I suppose there’s no-one there to approve the leave because we don’t have enough resources.”
He says some workers are taking fake sick days or leaving the service because they cannot get leave.
“We’ve got officers who have been in the service for thirty years, but can’t plan, they do have things to attend but are unable to do so,” he said.
“It is leading to a culture now … where it’s all too easy now just to chuck a sickie, book off, why should I bother doing the right thing, putting my leave form in well in advance, only to have it be ignored.”
Meanwhile Auditor-General Tu Pham continues to challenge the Government over its response to her report into ambulance services.
Ms Pham last year gave a scathing review of the service, finding only 37 per cent of high level emergency calls were responded to within eight minutes.
Emergency Services Minister Simon Corbell says the report is simplistic and flawed.
He says Ms Pham invented her own methodology.
But Ms Pham has told the Assembly committee the report is accurate and says the Government’s dismissive attitude has damaged her credibility.
“There is nothing simplistic about the work we’ve done,” she said.
She also tabled a suburb-by-suburb breakdown of ambulance response times to support her criticisms.
The committee now has to decide whether to make the data public.
Ms Pham says there is a risk the data would be reported in a sensationalist way.
But she says similar information has been published in the media in Victoria.