Ambulance staffing under fire

COUNTRY ambulance stations were being left unattended to prop up city services, State Opposition health spokesman Jeremy Rockliff said last week. Mr Rockliff said the Liberal Party had highlighted ambulance staffing shortages two months ago and this had now been reiterated by by health unions. “HACSU claims that there is not enough staff to meet demand across the state, stations are left unattended and on-call paramedics are taking ambulances home in case of emergency call-outs.  These concerns match those raised consistently by the Liberals,” Mr Rockliff said.

“In September, I pointed out these problems to the Minister in Parliament. In response, the Minister said claims that Ambulance Tasmania was poorly staffed was ‘simply not correct’,” he said. “What is the Minister’s response now?

“Just recently, the Liberals have heard of further problems, with ambulance crews from rural branch stations, including Huonville, New Norfolk, Kingston, Sorell and Bridgewater, regularly being brought in to make up for shortfalls in Hobart. This has the effect of delaying response times across all areas, and puts people living in regional areas at real risk.”

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