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Commencement of consultation process for additional paramedics

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to providing Tasmanians with the health services they need and deserve.

During the election campaign we made a commitment to recruit 42 additional paramedics, to be stationed in regional communities around the State and help provide 24 hour on duty coverage for these areas.

Today, I can announce that the consultation process for these additional paramedics will commence in coming weeks with Ambulance Tasmania staff and unions.

This will allow the Government to listen to the staff on the frontline and help identify the areas around the State in greatest need.

This significant investment represents one of the largest paramedic recruitment drives in Tasmania’s history and, most importantly, will reduce paramedic fatigue, increase ambulance responsiveness and reduce overtime costs.

It is a key part of our $125 million ambulance package that will help us to reach our bold target of reducing emergency ambulance response times to the national average waiting time by 2025.

Statistics for the December 2017 quarter showed median emergency response time for ambulances was 12.8 minutes, down from 13.2 minutes from the previous quarter, but our commitment will continue to drive down response times.