18 March 2020
The Australian Paramedics Association (NSW) (APA (NSW)) is concerned about the spike in demand for Ambulance services following a 4.8 per cent increase in incidents since the October to December quarter the previous year. Demand for Ambulance services continues to increase every year.
The most recent report from the NSW Bureau of Health Information has revealed a 6.6 percent increase in calls for Ambulance assistance, rising from 307,866 to 328,228, an increase of 20,362 calls since last year.
Every quarter, the demand for Ambulance services increases, and the most recent quarter is no different. Response times continue to slow, while demand only grows.
The State Wide Enhancement Program, which is the introduction of 700 additional paramedics into NSW Ambulance was intended to improve service delivery for patients and improve conditions for the Paramedic workforce. We have not seen these results.
APA (NSW) President, Chris Kastelan said “Paramedics continue to be stretched beyond the limit every day to meet the rising calls for assistance from the public.”
“Despite the roll-out of the State Wide Enhancement program, service delivery is not improving,” said Mr. Kastelan
“With the culmination of current demands and the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Paramedics need genuine and considered change to help them help people. While COVID-19 is not a part of the current BHI data, it represents yet another challenge to Paramedics”
“Our Paramedics are continuing to be pushed over the limit with unrealistic demands from NSW Ambulance that result in missed meal breaks and hours of overtime.”
“Any additional Paramedics from the rollout of State Wide Enhancement Program have been swallowed into existing gaps in rosters.”
“The most recent data from the Bureau of Health Information shows that there has been no improvement to service delivery since the introduction of State Wide Enhancement Program changes.”
“APA (NSW) has continually said that the 700 new Paramedics being employed by the NSW Government are simply not enough, and the results are showing. We urgently need more paramedics and a plan to support and integrate them into the workforce”