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Officials demand release of paramedic suicide report

The report into five Australian paramedics’ suicides was completed last year, but has not been released to the public

BELMONT, Australia — Officials are urging an Australian health minister to release a report into the suicide deaths of five Australian paramedics.

ABC.net.au reported Dr. Nathan Gibson was commissioned by Western Australian Health Minister Kim Hames to investigate the suicides. Gibson finished the report last year, but Hames has yet to release it to the public.

Labor MP Adele Farina accused Hames of sitting on the report and said it should be released as soon as possible to protect paramedics.

"I am very, very concerned about the well-being of paramedics and volunteers and I really urge Minister Hames to immediately implement any of the recommendations that will improve conditions for paramedics," Farina said.

The review exposed claims of bullying within St. John’s culture and some paramedics reported they feared losing their jobs if they spoke out about mental health concerns. St. John’s denied any cultural problems.

Pat O’Donnell, United Voice union assistant secretary, agreed with Farina and said the report needs to be released immediately.

"Everyone knows it's a really difficult job, a challenging job and there's a role there for government, for St. John and for the community to make sure they're well supported," said O’Donnell.

Hames denied he was withholding the report and said it should be released within the next couple of weeks.

"This investigation has been comprehensive and involved a high number of individuals including family, staff and other people," said Hames. "The suggestion that I or anyone else has 'sat on this report' and deliberately not released it without good reason is ridiculous."


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