Sarah Courtney,Minister for Health
Keeping Tasmanians safe and secure is our highest priority as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak in the state’s North West.
We know how hard our paramedics are working right now, which is why we want to do everything we possibly can to support them during this time, so I am pleased Ambulance Tasmania is in the process of finalising a new contract for vehicle cleaning services in Hobart, Launceston, Burnie and Devonport.
Currently the cleaning of ambulance vehicles is undertaken by paramedics, volunteers or managers, which can reduce the availability of our paramedics at a time we need them the most.
These new cleaning arrangements are all about reducing the load on our paramedics, and making sure we have as many available as possible.
While the longer term contract is being finalised, Ambulance Tasmania has moved quickly to secure short-term arrangements in the North and North West regions from yesterday and we have Hobart starting today.
Importantly, we are also committed to boosting our health workforce at this time.
We’ve spoken previously about our recruitment campaign for more doctors, nurses and allied health staff, and today we have advertised in all three papers focusing specifically on paramedics.
There are approximately 40-50 positions available, with a target to assist the North West during this time.
These resources also include new ambulance trucks and First Intervention Vehicles, and of course the additional dedicated aeromedical helicopter, which can handle two stretchers in a single transfer, plus facilities to provide critical care in-flight.
Ambulance Tasmania will be bringing these resources online as soon as they possibly can. We expect this to happen over the next three to four months as recruitment progresses.
We thank and appreciate our paramedics, volunteers and health system staff who go above and beyond for the Tasmanian community, and we are grateful for their service.