|Dr John Kaye|
The O'Farrell government in the NSW Upper House today blocked a Greens motion calling on the NSW Health Minister to take immediate action to address concerns of fatigue in regional paramedics under new rostering arrangements, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Dr Kaye said: "The O'Farrell Government's new rostering arrangement will place more burden on regional paramedics. Many are already
struggling with high workloads and staff shortages.
“The O'Farrell government has abandoned paramedics who will now face longer hours on call and greater stretches between days off.
"The Greens motion gave the Government the opportunity to commit to working with paramedics to address fatigue and rostering concerns in
regional areas. They refused to do so.
"Paramedics are on the front line of providing emergency health care in
regional communities. Fatigue poses serious risks to both paramedics and
"The NSW Health Minster Jillian Skinner must immediately intervene to
ensure that any new rostering arrangements for regional paramedics are
achieved by undertaking thorough and transparent consultation.
"The Health Minister must do everything in her power to protect
paramedics and their patients by reducing the risk of fatigue in the
Dr Kaye said.
Notice of Motion 20th September 2012
Dr Kaye to move
This house notes that:
1. The Ambulance Service of NSW is implementing a new rostering
arrangement for regional paramedics that would replace the current
system of four days rostered on and four days off to seven days on two
2. The roster change would see the on-call hours for paramedics in
regional areas increase from 14 hours to 16 hours
3. Paramedics across the state including in Orange, Griffith, Bega, and
the Northern Rivers have condemned the changes arguing that the increase
in the time between days off and the increase in hours spent on call
will increase the instances of fatigue and hamper fatigue recovery
4. the roster changes fail to address the underlying issue of paramedic
staff shortages in regional areas that is a significant contributor to
the fatigue amongst the paramedic workforce
5. fatigue poses a severe and immediate threat to the health and safety
of the paramedics and the patients that they are treating.
That this house calls on the Health Minister Jillian Skinner:
a) to ensure that the consultation undertaken with paramedics on the
proposed changes is genuine, transparent and involves all regions of the
state that would be affected
b) work with paramedics and their union to develop rostering
arrangements that address the issue of fatigue
c) develop legislation that extends to paramedics the same protection
extended to other shift working occupations that are exposed to critical
risks from fatigue
d) identify regions of NSW where the ambulance service is not
adequately staffed and develop mechanisms for increasing the number of
available paramedics in those regions