Tasmania’s ambulance service remains in crisis, with management struggling to fill rostering gaps in the lead up to Christmas.
Labor Leader Rebecca White said Will Hodgman’s cuts to essential services and frontline workers was putting at risk the safety of individuals and communities.
“Sarah Courtney and Will Hodgman have promised to employ more paramedics, but have failed to follow through.
“Yesterday afternoon an urgent message went out, looking for paramedics to fill rostering gaps at multiple stations today. There are five stations in the south of the state with rostering gaps, and management called on people to come from other parts of the state to help out.
“In a sign of how desperately under-resourced the service is, the request to paramedics said management were ‘happy for part shifts or whatever you can offer.’ This isn’t the way an essential service should be run.”
Ms White said stations at Hobart, New Norfolk, Bridgewater, Kingston and Sorell were affected today.
“In the lead up to Christmas we know things are only going to get busier – unfortunately, it’s a time of year when accidents do happen.
“We know that a lack of resources has put paramedics under pressure. And is it any wonder, when we have ongoing and severe ambulance ramping, leading to distress for patients and paramedics alike, and – sadly – sometimes resulting in the deterioration of patients’ health while they wait hours or days for treatment.
“It is incredibly difficult for hard-working paramedics to watch patients suffer unnecessarily.
“Fatigue and work stress result in time off work, and those remaining are being asked to fill the gaps left, which will only compound the situation.
“Will Hodgman has been put on notice about this and can no longer ignore the impact of his $450 million in budget cuts. If he fails to reverse those cuts, things can only get worse.”