Increased overtime for paramedics is coming at a growing personal cost to them and the public purse, according to unions, as scrutiny on the state's health service intensifies.
Right to Information data showed the amount of overtime for Northern emergency medical services increased from 15,875 hours in 2016-2017 to 19,198 in 2017-2018, costing more than $4.8 million statewide.
Tasmania's Health and Community Services Union state secretary Tim Jacobson said the government was "wasting money" on overtime when it should be meeting the demand with more permanent staff.
"We are continuing to chase our tails when it comes to vacancies," he said.
"We know the government, both with nursing, medical staff and with ambulance, is spending a lot of money on overtime and locums at the moment.
"We have demand in our hospitals like we have never seen before.
"The government can make a decision, that rather than trying to fill those shifts on an overtime basis, to actually create permanent employment for people."
Meanwhile, the state's peak medical body has called on the government to commit "urgent" additional funding ahead of a summit planned for June, aimed at addressing overcrowding at the Royal Hobart Hospital emergency department.
Australian Medical Association Tasmania branch vice president John Davis said staff were at breaking point and needed solutions to be acted upon now.
"This is not about needing to ramp up with more staff for the oncoming flu season and then ramp down again. The increasing pressure on doctors and nurses as well as other staff in the ED has been growing consistently worse and worse with the expanding demand for services across the year," he said.
"While the government has provided an additional $5 million, it appears to have done little to address the on-going issues of not enough doctors, nurses or support staff to deal with the ever-increasing demand on services.
"More funding is required and urgently for the RHH and the Launceston General Hospital, which is suffering from similar problems.
"The fact that every day more and more doctors and nurses are publicly speaking out about the problems in the ED says volumes for the need for urgent action. These people do not speak out lightly."
Responding to Mr Jacobson's claims, Health Minister Michael Ferguson said the government had a $125 million plan to boost ambulance services over the next five years, including improving services and response times and reducing fatigue and overtime costs.
"While we are always looking to reduce overtime by employing more paramedics and increasing services, it is important to note the RTI shows overtime has been largely stable," he said.
"The government is delivering on its commitment to recruit 42 new paramedics across the state after already adding a crew to each region, with the first six positions in the process of being recruited."
However, Mr Jacobson said the RTI figures, while historical, revealed only part of the story when it came to the efficiency of the state's ambulance services.
"The biggest issue at the moment is staff safety and fatigue," he said.
"It would be safe to say that staff are seriously concerned about their own and their colleague's health and wellbeing, given the circumstances they are in at the moment.
"It's a universal concern among our members ... the fatigue and the extraordinary hours people are spending ramped."
Labor's David O'Byrne said the government had been repeatedly told by health professionals that the actions were not enough.
"The focus of a state government should be to provide a service in health where if you get sick, you'll be looked after," he said.
"If you get sick you won't be ramped for hours and caught for days in the hospital emergency department.
"It's very clear from the statements made by health professionals over the weekend, that they have lost faith in this minister and the Hodgman Liberal Government."