APA (NSW) obtained legal advice relating to the exemptions to the public health orders allowing for paramedics who are close contacts of a
diagnosed COVID-19 case to attend work if they are symptomless and comply with risk mitigation strategies.
The advice we received was not definitive but indicated that it is unlikely that AHPRA would determine that a Paramedic has
engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct if they, following a directive, returned to work as a close contact, so long as they met
the risk mitigations strategies put in place by NSW Ambulance.
To ensure that members are protected as much as possible, APA (NSW) has written to NSW Ambulance and AHPRA outlining our concerns on this
issue. AHPRA has responded stating that it will be considering our concerns at an upcoming meeting and will provide a response.
NSW Ambulance are no longer returning high risk close contacts but have not ruled out doing so in the future. We have requested that if
they intend to return high risk close contacts, they must ensure that the risk mitigation strategies they put in place can be reasonably
complied with and would reasonably keep Paramedics and others in the work environment safe. We have asked that they distribute the legal
advice they have received on compliance with the PHO with the workforce.