(BELFAST TELEGRAPH) – Paramedics costing over £40,000 each to be trained in Northern Ireland are being forced to leave the Northern Ireland as they are unable to find a permanent job, it has been claimed.
It comes as the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) confirmed the number of new paramedics employed as a permanent full-time member of staff in the last year was zero. The NIAS said the current level of paramedic cover was “as required”.
Unions explained paramedics being trained on temporary contracts had been a common practice by the NIAS.
But qualified paramedics told the Belfast Telegraph that during a time when the health service was under intense pressure many were feeling “utter frustration” and were leaving because of the lack of opportunities.
The concerns were raised as it emerged paramedic hours in the province had been cut by almost 10,000 hours within a 10-month period. The figures were obtained by the Belfast Telegraph and relate to the period November 2012 to August 2013.
One paramedic said morale was low among employees on zero hours or temporary contracts.