What will it take to fix the crisis?
So far, the NSW Government has announced a massive increase to our staffing levels, with funding for an additional 2128 Paramedics
and support staff positions , as well as 30 new Paramedic stations.
This is a good step, but we need to be clear:
without systemic, statewide reform, more Paramedics will simply mean more
crews in bed block.
And in a short decade or so, we will be right back to where we are today, with critical staffing shortages and a failing healthcare
We're calling for six simple actions that will make a real and lasting difference to the pressures on our
healthcare system, the experience of frontline staff, and the quality of care patients receive.
These actions will improve healthcare for everyone in NSW, not just those in metropolitan and peri-urban areas. While the Government
originally committed to allocating 40% of new positions to regional areas, there is almost zero dedicated funding from this announcement
for more Paramedics beyond Newcastle and Wollongong. We think everyone in NSW deserves better care.
To provide advanced clinical care and help avoid unnecessary patient transports
The two primary specialist groups are Extended Care (ECP) and Intensive Care Paramedics (ICP).
ECPs can treat patients at home, performing procedures such as sutures (stitches), providing antibiotics, and fixing catheters and
gastronomy tubes. They save the health system hundreds and thousands of dollars for every patient diverted from an Emergency Department.
ICPs have advanced life saving skills such as intubation. In regional settings where there is no GP in town, an ICP is often the next
most highly qualified clinician. Recently, when the town of Wellington, NSW was without a doctor for days, NSW Health specifically sent a
dual ICP/ECP Paramedic to address the community's needs.
Despite clearly recognising the value of specialists, the NSW Government is seeking to limit the number of specialist Paramedics in
regional communities. In some situations, they will try to strip a specialist qualification from a Paramedic once they relocate to a
APA (NSW) is demanding:
• Removal of any limits on where specialist Paramedics can operate
• A massive investment in the ECP program regionally Page 2 of 3
• Investment in safety protocols and management structures for the ECP program, to ensure our ECPs are looked after. It’s a tough job,
and they need a lot of support.
Accessible Primary Care
To improve patient outcomes and reduce the burden on emergency services.
Every Paramedic, every day, goes to a patient who has had to call 000 as a last resort, because they couldn’t access a GP.
We’re demanding that state and federal governments work together to:
• Expand the number of bulk billing community care centres
• Incentivise regional work for GPs • Support GPs to bulk bill
• Increase healthcare resources for regional communities
A functioning emergency healthcare system requires a functioning primary and community healthcare system. One cannot exist without the
Fairer wages & end to the wage cap
24/7 Patient Transport
Invest in regional health
Real action to improve resourcing and Training, resourcing, PTOs
A recent Senate Inquiry into the state of our regional healthcare system was damning, finding that: “residents of rural, regional and remote
New South Wales have poorer health outcomes and inferior access to health and hospital services, and face significant financial challenges
in accessing these services, compared to their metropolitan counterparts”.
The NSW Government failed to meaningfully engage and support the findings of the inquiry, and refused to endorse Paramedics push for
regional communities to have more specialist Paramedics. Barely any of the recent announcement of 1858 Paramedics will be going to
regional or rural areas, despite claims from the NSW Government that 40% of the announced health staffing increase would go to regional
We need to see regional communities put first, including:
• Allowing for regional specialist training and skills consolidation
• Review of which regional hospitals require staffing and equipment enhancements
• More Patient Transport Officers
• Investing in reliable communication networks to ensure Paramedic safety
Reform triaging systems