Member for Bega Andrew Constance today said 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 Service paramedics.
Mr Constance said 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.
“The Paramedics across our South-East region do a fantastic job and I cannot fault their dedication to their work or to our local communities. They provide an invaluable service to our communities and work tirelessly to help keep us safe and healthy. “In late 2016 I received letters from several Paramedics across the region who had concerns about the Death and Disability Scheme, I can today assure them that the NSW Government has listened and we have acted. “I hope that this proposed new scheme will reinstate confidence to our Paramedics in that they will be looked after.”
“It is important that we do everything we can to help them stay safe and healthy too as they work in difficult and dangerous circumstances and need appropriate support if they are injured at work,” Mr Constance said.
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 with the new scheme to be implemented as soon as possible. Media Release