The NSW Government has committed to a record paramedic workforce boost, and will deliver an extra 750 paramedics and ambulance call centre staff over the next four years.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced more than $1 billion will be invested in ambulance services and capital in the NSW Budget 2018.
“Providing world-class care for patients is a priority for the NSW Government, and this Budget provides our paramedics with the support they need to deliver even better services for our community,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Mr Perrottet said the Budget included $944 million in recurrent expenditure - up $51.3 million from last year’s Budget - and an additional $72 million in capital works.
“Today’s Budget announcement is clear proof that the Liberals & Nationals Government uses the resources of our strong economy to better service our emergency frontline health services,” Mr Perrottet said.
Mr Hazzard said communities across the State would benefit from the employment and training of the first round of 200 extra paramedics in the coming 12 months.
“We identified that the community needed more paramedics and that our valued paramedics needed more resources to properly do their job,” Mr Hazzard said.
“This record boost to the paramedic workforce will improve paramedic safety and wellbeing and, importantly, their continued service to the community.”
The investment of more than $1 billion in services and capital works includes:
- $23.7 million in 2018-19 to employ an additional 200 paramedics and 13 call centre staff (part of 700 paramedics and 50 call centre staff over the next four years) to improve response times, reduce paramedic fatigue and support safety.
- $18.5 million to support the rollout of the Government’s Critical Communications Enhancement Program, which will expand the Government Radio Network coverage and improve critical communications during emergencies.
- Continuing the $150 million Sydney Ambulance Metropolitan Infrastructure Strategy ($20 million in 2018-19) to deliver modern new superstations. Construction is underway at Caringbah and Haberfield, while superstations at Bankstown, Blacktown, Kogarah, Penrith, Northmead and Artarmon have been completed. Paramedic Response Points networked to superstations have been completed at Mortdale and are under construction at Bonnyrigg, Wiley Park and Quakers Hill.
- Continuing the $122 million Rural Ambulance Infrastructure Reconfiguration program ($16.4 million in 2018-19), which will improve the delivery of emergency medical care for people in rural and regional areas. Twenty-three new, rebuilt and updated NSW Ambulance stations are included, with construction underway at Bathurst, Bay and Basin, Berry, Griffith, Hamlyn Terrace/Wyong, Kiama, Molong and Toukley. Planning is under way at Coffs Harbour, Cootamundra, Wauchope, Bungendore, Yass, Pottsville, Cowra, Grenfell, Birmingham Gardens, Goulburn and Rutherford.