Dominic Perrottet has admitted he called the state’s health minister Brad Hazzard to help secure an ambulance when his wife fell ill, but the New South Wales Premier insists he did not get special “favours”.
With the state election campaign entering its final week, Mr Perrottet was grilled by Sky News host Sharri Markson over the mysterious incident.
The Premier’s call to Mr Hazzard, then the health minister, came after his wife Helen Perrottet fell ill and was “paralysed”.
Markson put it to Mr Perrottet that when the ambulance took too long to arrive, he called Mr Hazzard, who had a conversation with the ambulance commissioner.
Mr Perrottet denied this, and said he spoke to Mr Hazzard for advice “as a friend”.
“No, that’s not true at all. Obviously, my wife was sick at the time, paralysed in bed, and I spoke to Brad Hazzard in relation to that matter and an ambulance was organised, in the ordinary course,” the Premier said.
“My wife called me coming home from an event, and I spoke to Brad to get his advice in relation to the situation, and Brad was actually, randomly enough, with the head of ambulance at that time, and they said to me, ‘Go home, be with your wife,’ and an ambulance was called, and we went to hospital, where she was for a number of days.”
Mr Perrottet’s admission follows multiple reports that ordinary NSW residents are waiting too long when they call 000.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet. Picture: Gaye Gerard/NCA NewsWireBrad Hazzard. Picture: Jeremy Piper/NCA NewsWire
He did not elaborate on whether the “ordinary” arrangement he mentioned involved the health minister or the ambulance commissioner calling 000.
“Their advice was, ‘No, you should get home. She will need an ambulance’. And an ambulance was called out,’’ the NSW Premier said.
“What I do know is that I called Brad Hazzard, spoke to (ambulance chief) Dom Morgan, and their advice was ‘No you should get home, she’ll need an ambulance,’ and an ambulance was called out.”
When asked to confirm that it was either the health minister or ambulance commissioner who called the ambulance, Mr Perrottet replied: “I’m not sure of those details.”
Markson then pointed to her own experience when she nearly died after losing two litres of blood while waiting for an ambulance while suffering a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy.
The ambulance took two hours to arrive, and by the time it did she was bleeding out internally and had lost around 40 per cent of her blood volume.
“Do you understand that most people in NSW wouldn’t have the access to call the health minister or ambulance commissioner when they need an ambulance?” she asked.
“My one-year-old was nearly left without a mother because an ambulance took two hours to come, and you were able to get the ambulance commissioner and the health minister to organise an ambulance to your house.”
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet on Sky News. Picture: Sky News
Markson questioned whether Mr Perrottet’s election pledge was “misleading” given he hadn’t experienced waiting two hours for an ambulance to arrive for his wife.
“Why would you call the health minister for advice instead of a doctor?” she queried.
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