THE MAIL ONLINE – Australian paramedics back in motherland: short-staffed ambulance ranks to take up jobs in the UK. 175 paramedics flee Australia’s short-staffed ambulance ranks to take up jobs in the UK, where they work less and earn up to earn 60 per cent more.
- London Ambulance Service has 175 Australians starting work this month
- Six of England’s ten ambulance trusts plan to recruit staff from abroad
- But the industry in Australia is crying out for more workers and funding
Australian paramedics are being flown to the UK to fill staff shortages despite the fact the industry is crying out for more ambulance workers locally. The London Ambulance Service has 175 Australians starting work this month in an attempt to fill staffing gaps. But unions in Australia say the industry needs more funding to create more jobs so Australian paramedics are not seeing overseas as a more attractive option. The issue of staffing shortages for Australian ambulances was highly publicised last year when there was a significant delay in paramedics reaching cricketer Phil Hughes, who later died from severe head injuries.
Australian Paramedics Association secretary Gary Wilson said in NSW ambulances don’t have enough resources to cover the work they need to undertake. ‘Unfortunately delays in ambulance response are becoming more common and it comes down to a system-wide lack of resources,’ he said. ‘The ministry won’t approve staff increases. Losing 175 paramedics to fill a shortfall overseas doesn’t make our situation worse it just doesn’t help us. ‘What happens here is we need hundreds more paramedics but we don’t have approval or funding for those positions.’
The Australian paramedics – many of them recent graduates – will work 37.5 hours a week and be paid a salary of between £30,295 ($A57,753) and £39,061 ($A74,396) – 25 and 60 per cent more than they earn in Australia. They also received relocation costs and a three-week training course on working in London, including dealing with incidents on the Underground. Danny Hill, assistant secretary of the Victorian chapter of Ambulance Employees Australia, said local graduates were paid a base rate of about $46,000 and work minimum 48-hour weeks.
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