New ambos on way

NEW Norfolk will get three new paramedics as part of a statewide $40.8 million program.

Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff said 48 new permanent paramedics would be recruited statewide, joining the 170 additional full-time equivalent paramedics and dispatch officers recruited since coming to Government in 2014.

Ambulance Tasmania’s vehicle fleet will also be upgraded at a cost of $9 million with 30 new ambulances, all equipped with contemporary paramedic systems.

“The new Mercedes Sprinter Type 1 ambulances will increase reliability and reduce time out-of-service for repairs, and will come online by mid-2022,” Mr Rockliff said.

Meanwhile, with the closure of the Central Highlands General Practice, New Norfolk local Bill Dermody has once again pointed to the importance of his petition for greater support for the Derwent Valley’s health system.

With the Central Highlands General Practice set to be closed on October 31, the waiting times to see medical practitioners in the Derwent Valley is expected to grow significantly.

Mr Dermody’s petition called for nurse practitioners to be employed 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the New Norfolk Hospital, to aid in the workload on the doctors, and raised over 3000 signatures.

“I know from the number of young families who had signed the petition, they had sick or injured children who couldn’t be seen for three, four, five or six weeks, and have had to go into Hobart to see a doctor,” Mr Dermody said.

“If there were nurse practitioners in the clinic, they could be doing the intervention while the doctor is elsewhere, they could see to minor problems, like suturing.”