A health union has accused Ambulance Tasmania of ignoring ongoing workplace health and safety concerns around paramedic fatigue and says it's time for an external review to address long-standing issues.
Health and Community Services union Tasmania state secretary Tim Jacobson said workers were being pushed to breaking point within an organisation plagued by poor management and failing internal processes.
It comes a week after a shocking data breach resulted in the details of every Tasmanian who called an ambulance since November last year being made public.
At the time Health Minister Sarah Courtney said the department was conducting an internal review into the circumstances which led to the breach.
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However, Mr Jacobson questioned what had been done to ensure the pager and communications system was secure.
He said given the breadth of issues within Ambulance Tasmania, only an external review would result in change.
"What we want to see is a staffing, resourcing and cultural review of the ambulance service in Tasmania," he said.
"There are a whole lot of fatigue issues that are going unchecked at the moment, which is a big concern from our perspective.
"AT are just not managing worker fatigue. We have had a few crashes in the North and North-West in recent times.
"Obviously the jury is out in terms of the reasons for that, but we are obviously concerned about the possibility of fatigue being a factor."
On November 28 last year an ambulance rolled onto its side while responding to a car crash at Elizabeth Town.
A week later on December 5, an ambulance left the road and dropped into a culvert while transporting a patient in the North-West.
An Ambulance Tasmania spokesperson said an internal investigation was continuing into the two incidents. They also said HACSU had not raised the issue of an external review with Ambulance Tasmania management.
When asked if she would consider a review into services, Ms Courtney said the government took the health and safety of paramedics extremely seriously, and would "continue to closely engage with Ambulance Tasmania to ensure our staff are properly supported to be able to provide high quality emergency health care services to Tasmanians".
Mr Jacobson said similar external reviews had been conducted in NSW and Victoria in recent years, with positive results.
"The cultural issues that were identified there appear to be similar to the issues we are experiencing in Tasmania. But they [Victoria and NSW] seem to be on the front force of dealing with these issues," he said.
"At this point, Ambulance Tasmania are continuing to turn a blind eye to them. It is simply lurching from one crisis to the next.
"We have an exhausted workforce that I don't think are really adequately supported by their bureaucracy."
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