Poor ambo rosters risking lives: Union

Rob Wright

NEW ROSTERS for paramedics are putting the lives of people in the Northern Rivers at risk the Health Services Union claims.

HSU North Coast sub-branch secretary Wayne Lewry said two incidents on the North Coast this week show the ambulance system is in crisis.

"In Murwillumbah on Monday there was no crew available to respond to an emergency involving a fitting baby," he said.

"On the same night multiple emergencies in Byron Bay saw crews being dispatched from as far as Mullumbimby and Ballina to attend."

Mr Lewry said the NSW Ambulance has failed to meet essential staffing levels.

"The problem is exacerbated by new rosters that have paramedics fatigued from working on-call for unsustainable lengths of time."

Mr Lewry predicted the worst is yet to come unless more paramedics are recruited.

"The situation won't improve until the service takes real action to address the critical staff shortages."

"Playing around with rosters does nothing to change the fact that there are just not enough paramedics to serve their communities."

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