NSW Paramedics will refuse to work alone this week in protest after the state government ignored recommendations to ensure that workers weren't sent to jobs alone.
There have been several attacks in the last year, with the Daily Telegraph reporting female paramedics were thrown into walls by drunk patients, punched while helping pregnant women and bitten to the point of drawing blood.
According to Health Services Union NSW secretary Gerard Hayes, a single officer response poses a danger to both paramedics and reduced patient care.
“It’s a profession where you need two people to do the job and save lives,” Mr Hayes said.
“You don’t know what you’re going to get until you’re get there and our members have faced terrible attacks.
“Two years ago we had a paramedic go alone to what turned out to be a murder. In terms of patient care, things can also change very rapidly.”
Health Minister Brad Hazzard has expressed concern for paramedics and their working conditions.
“I certainly encourage the two unions who represent our paramedics to have a chat with me before anything involving industrial action,” Mr Hazzard said.
“I’m very concerned about the safety of all our emergency workers.”