APA (NSW) Member Update – NSW Budget
BAIRD GOVERNMENT’S FAILURE TO BOOST PARAMEDIC NUMBERS PUTS LIVES AT RISK. Tuesday 21 June 2016
Today the NSW government introduced its budget, and again missed another opportunity to deliver to paramedics and the people of NSW the services they deserve. Below is a media release that APA (NSW) has distributed regarding the new budget.
‘Mike Baird’s sale of the electricity poles and wires has put the State Government’s finances on a firm footing with a surplus of more than $3.4 billion dollars. But the Premier has forgotten the people of NSW who are now being forced to wait unacceptable lengths of time when they call an ambulance.
“Working paramedics feel betrayed that Mike Baird and Health Minister Jillian Skinner have failed to increase frontline paramedic numbers which remain critically low,” said Australian Paramedics Association (APA (NSW)) President Steve Pearce. “NSW needs at least another 500 frontline paramedics to keep up with the increasing workload across the state,” he said.
“Up until now, the Government has been crying poor with the NSW Ambulance Service insisting there was no money available for more paramedics.” “But now the money is clearly available, Mr Baird and Mrs Skinner have shown they lack the political will to provide the best possible emergency service to the public.”
Mr Pearce said paramedics around the state were angry and felt betrayed by the Government’s refusal to boost front line paramedic numbers. “NSW Paramedic crews are supposed to be able to respond quickly to emergency calls but all too often they are now arriving to treat patients and having to deal with angry and emotional family and bystanders concerned about their late arrival,” he said.
“This is delaying treatment, compromising patient care and putting lives at risk.” “The public needs to understand that response times for ambulances will continue to blow out until
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paramedic numbers are increased.”
Mr Pearce said the Government should be taking advantage of the large numbers of young people graduating as paramedics but going to Britain instead of finding jobs here. “It’s obvious that this is the solution to the problem. The Government now has the money, there are plenty of trained paramedics coming out of university and they should be recruited.”
He said paramedics were currently overworked, forced to rush from job to job and facing unacceptable levels of stress. “Some of our most experienced paramedics are leaving the job because they have just been pushed too far.”’
APA (NSW) President Steve Pearce has already today spoken to media regarding our concerns and will continue to do so over the coming days.
APA (NSW) Executive Your Choice, Your Voice