Dr Shaheem de Vries, the director of emergency medical services (EMS) at the provincial Health Department, said this number of people being unable to work was the equivalent of 11 ambulances being off the road.
Speaking on the sidelines of a presentation he made to the provincial legislature’s standing committee on health, De Vries said: “The figure of 103 excludes people who may be seeing a psychiatrist or have depression related to work.”
Explaining the impact of this absenteeism on the ambulance service or the EMS, De Vries said that of the 103 PTSD sufferers, there were 23 staff of whom 16 had been unable to return to work, and that seven of those diagnosed with PTSD were back on duty but doing different work.
“That’s the other aspect of it. Even when you return to work, you aren’t going to return straight into the hot zone, you’ll invariably be assigned light duties and then transition slowly back into your former field.