Paramedics struggling to cope with growing patient numbers


The Australian Paramedics Association (NSW) is concerned about the spike in calls for help from the public which has seen an increase of 7.6 per cent in the numbers of patients being treated in the September quarter.

Latest statistics from the NSW Bureau of Health Information has revealed more than 320,000 calls in the September quarter, an increase of 22,543 over the previous year.

Response times have also been affected by the high number of calls although the statistics reveal paramedics have done their best to attend to the highest priority cases within 10 minutes.

Australian Paramedics Association (NSW) President Chris Kastelan said paramedics were being pushed to the limit every day, on every shift to cope with the growing number of calls for assistance from the public.

“We are seeing an unprecedented number of calls on top of an already heavy workload,” Mr Kastelan said.

“Our paramedics are being pushed to the limit, with additional overtime demands from NSW Ambulance and in many cases no time for rest or meal breaks during shifts.”

“This goes on day after day and many paramedics are complaining about fatigue on every shift.”

“It is simply not possible for paramedics to work 12 hours or more to meet demand when the NSW Government has failed for many years to manage the growth in patients with a similar increase in paramedic numbers.”

“Paramedics are overworked and claims by the NSW Government that 700 additional paramedics being recruited over four years will alleviate the crisis are simply wrong.”

“There needs to be at least double that amount to cover the current workload.”

“Paramedics are fed up with the unrealistic and exhausting demands being placed on them.”

“Paramedics are highly skilled professionals who are over worked with no recognition from the employer.”

“This is why APA (NSW) has filed a claim for a pay rise and an Award with improved benefits.”

/Public Release.