Ambulance personnel who are carrying out the most stressful and physically demanding work of all emergency frontline personnel are being obstructed by National Ambulance Service (NAS) management from accessing HSE long term absence benefits when injured at work, the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) said today (Friday, April 17 th .) at its delegate meeting in Athlone.
NASRA National Secretary, Michael Dixon said the treatment of injured paramedics under the HSE- NAS injury at work policy is a disgrace and the rehabilitation of paramedics back from injury was practically non-existent. Paramedics with work related injuries find themselves increasingly facing bureaucratic hurdles in attempting to access benefits under the HSE injury at work, critical illness, serious assault and sick pay schemes.
‘Changes to the sick leave policy for ambulance personnel, where after 12 weeks paramedics are struck off and become reliant on the social welfare no matter how long their length of service, are an insult to the work and dedication shown by paramedics throughout the country every day.'
Mr Dixon said female paramedics who become pregnant can find themselves being placed on sick leave because management will not actively identify opportunities for them to be redeployed away from front line duties.
The Chairman of the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) has described media reports that phone calls in the National Ambulance Service (NAS) were routinely recorded as very disturbing and worrying.
Speaking at the Annual Delegate Conference of NASRA in Tullow, Co Carlow, Michael Dixon called for a full investigation by the HSE into the allegations that internal and external phone lines in the NAS were recorded and recordings were shared with other State agencies.
NASRA National Chairman Michael Dixon, on RTE's Morning Ireland responding the Primetime Investigates Programme - The Ambulance Service Uncovered - which detailed a National Ambulance Service in crisis.and how across the country, lives are regularly put at risk arising from delays in response times.
Click on the link below to hear the interview.