Dire, unprecedented crisis in ambulance service cannot be ignored by Ferguson

Tasmanian Labor

· Paramedics give clear warning to Ferguson that lives are in danger

· Ramping has caused “unmitigated crisis” in “entirely unworkable” system

Just days after Royal Hobart Hospital Emergency Registrars told Health Minister Michael Ferguson Tasmanians are dying avoidable deaths he has callously dismissed horrifying evidence about the crisis in the ambulance service.

Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said Mr Ferguson had this morning in State Parliament dismissed the contents of a leaked letter to the Tasmanian Ambulance Service CEO from the frontline that showed chronic ramping has led to an “unmitigated crisis” that is “entirely unworkable” and causing “widespread and undeniable psychological injury” to paramedics.

Ms Lovell said it defied belief that Mr Ferguson could dismiss the detail which included the fact that 90 per cent of the paramedics report that ambulance ramping outside hospitals is having a negative impact on their mental health, 87 per cent of southern paramedics believe queuing of ambulances has left them unable to perform their duties and 42 per cent of the workforce is considering leaving the ambulance service altogether.

“Michael Ferguson knows that Ambulance Tasmania is in a state of total disarray because of the impossible ramping situation he has created which has resulted in crews spending 13 hours of a 14 hour shift parked in front of the hospital,” Ms Lovell said.

“The Minister knows that is not unusual for ambulances to be stuck for hours on the hospital ramp because there are no beds to treat sick patients.

“Mr Ferguson knows that Tasmanian paramedics are under such stress as a result of this situation that there are serious concerns about self harm.

“Mr Ferguson knows that paramedics feel they can no longer do their jobs and Tasmania is facing the very real prospect of many of these paramedics leaving their jobs.

“And he knows that paramedics – whose primary focus should be caring for their patients – are not able to because he has failed to care for them.

“The paramedics, in their letter leaked today, have provided Mr Ferguson with sensible solutions about how to help alleviate the ramping crisis.

“Now that this evidence is clear in front of the Minister, he must show for just once that he cares and implement their solutions immediately.”

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.