This page looks at some of the issues Paramedics across NSW are fighting for. This is not an exhaustive list. If you wish to learn more about any of these issues, or any other issues APA (NSW) is fighting for, please contact us on (02) 9564 3261.
In April 2022, we surveyed hundreds of members about their experience on road. Here's some of what we found:
This isn't safe, and it is not sustainable.
We're fighting to secure key commitments from our leaders to put more staff on the road, pay Paramedics a fair wage, and invest in specialist programs and statewide referral networks to reduce strain on our healthcare system.
The emergency healthcare crisis has been decades in the making. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated just how far into the crisis we are. Inadequate resourcing has for years led to forced overtime, Paramedics working up to 21 hours with no breaks, and worsening response times. This has never been more clear than now, in the worst health crisis of our lifetime.
In May 2021, we won a historic victory on Ambulance resourcing before the IRC.
After three long years of formal disputation, the Commission ordered NSWA to update minimum crewing requirements all around the state— marking the first major increase to operating levels since 2010.
You can read more about what this change will mean for Paramedics and communities here—we've even created handy maps so you can visualise how crewing will increase in your area.
The next step will be a full review of rostering practices which foregrounds concerns about Paramedic safety and wellbeing. The IRC has ordered NSWA to engage with the unions to develop deployment modelling which accounts for staff wellbeing and reflects the needs of the community. We will continue to champion Paramedics' interests throughout this process, and to push for improved rosters which can genuinely meet demand.
Outside of industrial pathways, APA (NSW) actively advocates for improved resourcing in Parliament as well as in the media. Check out some of the following press coverage to see how we're standing up for better resourcing in our communities:
APA (NSW) strongly believes that Extended Care Paramedics provide a vital service to the community, and an important career advancement pathway for Paramedics.
Extended Care Paramedics treat patients at home: providing services like suturing, setting dislocations, and dispensing antibiotics. Their advanced skillset helps to keep lower acuity patients out of hospitals; reducing strain on the broader healthcare system while diverting patients away from unnecessary and often distressing trips to hospital EDs.
Yet NSW Ambulance continuously fails to maintain planned ECP numbers across metropolitan NSW. On average, around 50% of the ECPs who are meant to be working as ECPs are rostered on to do so. The other 50% are utilised to fill gaps in 'general duties' rosters.
And NSW Ambulance effectively refuses to allow anybody who works rurally to become an ECP. If a Paramedic successfully applies for an ECP course, they must agree to give up their substantive position in regional or rural NSW and relocate to Sydney for a minimum of two years.
We have been campaigning for greater investment in the ECP program both within NSWA and beyond—in the media, in meetings with MPs, and through formal submissions to Parliamentary Inquiries (more info below).
APA (NSW) will continue to fight for ECPs until we see an expansion in funding and training options equivalent to that recently
announced for NSW ICPs.
Our communities and Paramedics deserve better.
Living regionally should not mean settling for a lower standard of healthcare. And working regionally should not mean settling for inadequate resourcing, or lower workplace standards.
This January, we made a formal submissions to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Health outcomes and access to health and hospital services in rural, regional and remote NSW. This submission summarises our 6 major recommendations for improving healthcare in our regional communities:
Click here to read our submissions in full: "Patients are dying and Paramedics will soon too if this isn't fixed".
We're continuing to advocate for improvements to regional healthcare by raising the profile of this issue, in Parliament and beyond. Our Vice President Scott Beaton appeared on a recent 60 Minutes special looking into regional health—heck out the video below for a trailer:
Scott Beaton represents the Australian Paramedics’ Association and has been an intensive care paramedic in Gilgandra, New South Wales, for 11 years. Scott sees firsthand the impact of virtual care. #60Mins pic.twitter.com/ThYCaZYKOb— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) December 6, 2020
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