“It’s a starter to end ambulance ramping” – Ambulance workers welcome time-limited transfer of care 

Posted on 21 April 2024 in Media Releases

Starting from 22 April, Ambulance workers in Tasmania will have a time limit on how long they can be ramped at a hospital with the introduction of a time-limited patient offload procedure. This move marks the first step in putting an end to ambulance ramping.

The new procedure will see the vast majority of patients arriving at hospitals via ambulance wait no longer than 60 minutes to be transferred to a clinically appropriate space. This will enable ambulances to return to duty quicker and respond to urgent calls in the community. 

The start of this procedure follows promises from the government of added staffing and a further reduction to the time limit to 30 minutes over the course of the next 18 months. 

With Tasmania’s ambulance response times being the worst in the country, nearly doubling the recommended time for urgent calls, the ambulance workers’ union has long advocated for systemic change.

HACSU State Secretary Robbie Moore expressed relief that the procedure will finally be in force after months of design and tense negotiations during recent weeks: “Our members have been under immense strain, and this relief from ramping is not just welcomed, but absolutely crucial.

“This is starter to end ambulance ramping. It will enable the nation’s busiest ambulance workers to just be able to do their jobs without being stuck in the emergency department or grappling with the challenge of dispatching unavailable ambulances amidst distressing calls for help.”

“We know that health services continue to be stretched and the government has more work to do, but having ambulances ramped at hospitals for hours is ridiculous and unsafe.”

The union called direct attention to the physical and emotional toll on paramedics and ambulance communications workers, stressing that the burden of an underfunded and chaotic health system should not impede their ability to respond to medical emergencies in the community.
For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email [email protected] or complete our online contact form

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