Paramedics across the Hunter and New South Wales are taking industrial action today, calling on the State Government to address critical staff shortages.

They’ll refuse to move from their designated stations to fill gaps in rosters, although the Australian Paramedics Association says patient care and emergency response won’t be impacted by the action.

The union’s also calling for a pay rise and larger investment in referral networks and specialist programs to reduce the burden across the healthcare system.

Delegate and intensive care paramedic Brett Simpson says New South Wales has one of the lowest-funded and lowest-staffed ambulance services in the country.

“Five years of consecutive data, out of NSW Ambulance shows the worst response times in the organisation’s history,” Mr Simpson said.

“We’re seeing right across regional NSW it’s even worse, especially with longer response times from major hospitals like the John and the Mater, out to the Lower Hunter.”

The action was launched as crews clocked in at 6:15 this morning, and will continue for 24 hours.

It’s the second time this year the union has undertaken this sort of action, though the union has received an industrial dispute notification from NSW Ambulance this time.

The union will also meet with the Industrial Relations Commission tomorrow morning. 

Mr Simpson says paramedics aren’t likely to back down until the Government comes to the table.

“We’ve seen other states support their healthcare workers by offering pandemic payment and other support measures to try and keep their workforce at work and in their state,” Mr Simpson said.

“Unfortunately, for paramedics and other frontline healthcare workers, the NSW Government’s done the literal exact opposite and cut our pay multiple times over the last two years.”