Labor Government to recruit 500 new paramedics

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A Foley Labor Government will recruit an additional 500 paramedics and increase ambulance resources in its first term.

Across the state, resources are being stretched and paramedics are working on their days off to fill gaps in rosters and working long hours of overtime.

This investment in our ambulance service will speed up response times and support our dedicated paramedics.

The 500 paramedics will cost $46.6 million over the forward estimates. This includes additional salary and other recurrent costs – such as meal allowances and workers’ compensation – associated with employing new paramedics.

As part of the $46.6 million, there will be $2.1 million to fund capital costs including additional vehicles, defibrillators and stretchers.

The 500 paramedics will be delivered by 2019 - an extra 125 paramedics a year.

Quotes attributable to Labor Leader Luke Foley:

“Paramedics are one of the most trusted professions in our communities – their arrival at our homes, workplaces and everywhere in-between can literally determine the difference between life and death.

“There are less than 3,500 paramedics attending more than one million call outs a year – its time to give them a hand by boosting the number of paramedics available to response to emergency calls.

“A Foley Labor Government will ensure that patients in NSW receive the best possible care and boost ambulances response times by supporting our paramedics.

“They are hardworking and dedicated to helping people but they are being overstretched and under resourced by the Liberals - $3 billion in cuts to health are taking their toll.

“Labor’s plan to recruit an additional 500 paramedics will help to reduce the pressure on our ambos and allow them to focus on their first priority – saving lives."

Quotes attributable to Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord:

“Labor has a proud record of investing in our hospitals and health services which is why we will recruit an additional 500 paramedics to strengthen the response to health emergencies. 

“The Liberals’ legacy after four years in government is a health system at breaking point – hospitals failing to meet emergency room targets, slowing ambulance response times , and placing doctors and nurses under enormous pressure."

Key Facts

  • Labor will spend $46.6 million over the forward estimates to recruit 500 additional paramedics.

  • There will be $2.1 million made available for additional vehicles, defibrillators and stretchers.

  • NSW paramedics attend more than one million cases a year, but there are less than 3,500 paramedics to attend to these cases.

  • Every day around 3,330 calls are made to triple zero. That is a call for assistance every 26 seconds.

  • The average number of ambulance responses increased by 1.3 per cent from 2012/13 to 2013/14.

  • There are 267 New South Wales ambulance stations, 226 of which are permanently staffed and there are several volunteer-run services.

  • In addition to road ambulance responses, the NSW Ambulance Service also operates four fixed wing aircraft and nine helicopters.

  • 26 per cent of all patients presenting at New South Wales hospitals arrive by ambulance.

Read more about Labor's commitment to recruit 500 new paramedics.