Paramedics in New South Wales are taking industrial action today, with talk that nurses could follow them.
NSW Ambulances workers are calling for more resources and better pay, the action will see ambulance workers refuse to leave their allocated station to fill roster gaps for a period of 24 hours.
Whilst this action is being undertaken, they are insisting that it will not compromise patient care.
“We’ll still show up, care for patients, and respond to Triple Zero calls. Our action quite deliberately targets under resourcing from NSW Ambulance, without compromising care to patients or communities,” Chris Kastelan the NSW President of the Paramedics Association has said.
The union has been calling for increased staffing, improved pay as well as investments in referral networks and specialist paramedic programs to help reduce strain across the overburdened healthcare system. The system was already struggling when the NSW government forced a vaccine mandate for Paramedics and other health care workers, further reducing critical staffing.
“Of comparable states, NSW has the worst paramedic to population ratio, and worst spending per capita. Our ambulance response times have worsened by more than 40 per cent during the last decade. Something has got to change,”.
“We urgently need another 1500 paramedics just to bring staffing ratios in line with other states. Mr. Kastelan said.
NSW Nurses are also voting on whether to hold a 24-hour statewide strike on March 31st.