Ambos missed meal allowance costing $16m a year
AN allowance paid to paramedics who miss out on meal breaks is costing the state $16.2 million every year - about the same as the salaries of about 200 extra ambulance staff.
But Health Minister Cameron Dick has refused to be drawn on whether steps have been taken to implement a 2014 Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) decision to overhaul it, saying the State Government supports the allowance.
Figures obtained by the LNP Opposition and tabled in Parliament show missed meal payments to paramedics cost taxpayers $16.2 million in 2015-16 - an increase of 252 per cent on 2009-10 when the allowance cost $4.6 million.
Paramedics employed by Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) rose by 17 per cent over the same period, Federal Government reports show.
The missed meal payment is paid to paramedics working 12-hour shifts when they're too busy to take the two 30-minute breaks they're entitled to.