Concerns about ambulance shortages have been raised after an elderly nursing home patient had to wait six hours for paramedics to arrive after suffering a broken hip.

Despite an announcement by the Health Minister in 2019 that 750 new paramedics and call centre staff would join the force over the next four years, critics say new recruits are not keeping up with the numbers leaving the industry.

Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery said there were only nine cars operating across the Lower Hunter on Friday night, despite the large population and size of the region.

“Paramedics are telling me that they are being stretched to breaking point, with many staff working multiple overtime shifts per week or being sent to cover staff shortages in other regions,” Ms Hornery said.

“I think the community would be horrified to know that only nine ambulances are operating on a Friday night to cover such a large area and population.”

The Australian Paramedics Association had also made calls late last year for NSW Ambulance to deliver more resources to the Hunter, with local crews forced to make up for shortages in areas such as Raymond Terrace and Kurri Kurri.

A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said the response to the nursing home patient had been appropriate given the high number of emergency calls in the region.