There will be more paramedics to provide relief in regional New South Wales and paramedics’ work conditions will be improved in measures in the 2017-18 Budget, Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Health Brad Hazzard announced today.
The Budget also delivers the complete rollout of the 24/7 Ambulance Helicopter Retrieval Network Service, with doctors and paramedics on every flight.
More than $890 million will be invested in the 2017-18 Budget, an increase of $74 million from last year. More than $100 million will be invested in capital works in 2017-18.
“The NSW Government is committed to supporting our skilled and hardworking paramedics to continue delivering exceptional care to patients across the state,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Mr Perrottet said as well as investing in the bricks and mortar of new ambulance stations, the NSW Government is also investing in the IT for the future needs of the community.
“This is a Budget that invests our state’s success back in our communities and in this case the lives the NSW Ambulance Service works to save every day.
“It also delivers the investment to progress work on linking ambulance and hospital medical records in real time so data may be sent to an emergency department while the patient is en route.
“When fully operational, this will mean that ambulances can be sent to hospitals that are best suited to provide definitive care for a patient, which will improve patient outcomes,” Mr Perrottet said.
Mr Hazzard said, “This Budget helps us meet the challenge to continue to provide a first class ambulance response, whether it’s in the suburbs of Sydney or in more isolated areas of the state.”
The 2017-18 Budget includes funding for:
- The full annual cost of implementing the NSW Ambulance Helicopter Retrieval Network Service. This funding includes provision for doctors on every flight with bases operating 24/7 at Newcastle, Tamworth, Orange, Wollongong, Canberra, Lismore and Bankstown, allowing aircraft to respond to emergencies more effectively ($30 million).
- The protection of the health and wellbeing of NSW Ambulance staff by helping paramedics avoid workplace injuries and ensuring that injured workers are provided the support required to get them back to work. In addition, income protection for NSW paramedics injured at work will be extended from two to five years ($10 million).
- 50 additional relief paramedics to assist in reducing fatigue in rural and remote areas ($7.5 million).
- The implementation of an Ambulance Make Ready Model into superstations that will support paramedics by employing non-clinical staff to clean and restock ambulances at the end of each shift to make paramedics more available ($4 million).
- The Sydney Ambulance Metropolitan Infrastructure Strategy program, which will see four superstations completed at Liverpool, Penrith, Northmead, and Artarmon; work started on superstations at Caringbah and Haberfield; and building works at Paramedic Response Points to enable the new Paramedic Response Network to better meet the emergency care demands of local communities ($48 million).
- A continued investment of $35 million for the Rural Ambulance Infrastructure Reconfiguration program, which will enable work to be completed on four stations at Harden, Griffith, Ardlethan, and Coolamon, and construction started on another five ambulance stations at Berry, Molong, Basin View, Bathurst, and Kiama. This will improve the delivery of emergency medical care for people in rural and regional areas.
- The Critical Communications Enhancement Program, which will commence the delivery of a single, shared, state-wide radio network across all emergency services, coordinated by the NSW Government Telecommunication Authority (Telco Authority), offering better coverage, increased operability, and safety ($5.6 million).
- Continued support for Information Communications Technology ($4.5 million).
- The next phase of the Medical Equipment Replacement ($2 million).
- The completed upgrades to the Radio Network Infrastructure ($1.7 million).