$48 MILLION INVESTMENT IN PROTECTING STATE’S PARAMEDICS

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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith joined Superintendent Ross Chivers at Penrith Ambulance Station to announce that the NSW Government will spend $48 million to provide an enhanced insurance scheme with a minimum of five years’ income protection for on duty claims, and a specialised health program for NSW Ambulance paramedics.

The funding will ensure the state’s frontline health providers can get the support they need to stay healthy and are supported to get back to work if they are injured.

“Our paramedics provide an invaluable service to the community and work tirelessly to help keep us safe and healthy,” Stuart Ayres said.

“It is important that we do everything we can to help them stay safe and healthy too.

“They work in difficult and dangerous circumstances and need appropriate support if they are injured at work.”

Superintendent Ross Chivers, Zone Manager Nepean Blue Mountains, said the $48m protection package was a substantial investment which will ensure NSW Ambulance can continue to develop and grow its complement of staff wellbeing and mental health support programs and initiatives.

“Paramedics face a unique set of challenges in their day-to-day work which places them at higher risk of suffering physical injury or mental health setbacks, which is why as an organisation NSW Ambulance remains so keenly focussed on supporting our staff when they need it most,” Supt Chivers said.

“The announcement is a clear indication of the value the State Government places on the vital work carried out by NSW Ambulance staff, and shows a strong commitment to supporting our workforce when they need it most.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the reforms would provide more than just income protection.

“In addition, our new wellbeing program will further help prevent mental and physical injuries and support paramedics to return to work,” Ms Berejiklian said.

The $48 million investment includes:

  • A $30 million health and wellbeing program which will include a dedicated psychologist, physiotherapist, occupational physician and a Paramedic Safety Champion who will act to ensure paramedics safe and well;
  • Increased income protection for paramedics injured at work to at least five years.

NSW Ambulance staff will vote on the proposal in coming weeks.