Dominic Perrottet has urged people across NSW to stop calling ambulances for minor ailments, as paramedics say they are operating in a constant state of crisis.
The premier's plea comes as Labor claims long ambulance ramping times has led to multiple regional centres going without access to an ambulance.
"As the Health Minister (Brad Hazzard) quite clearly made the point yesterday - if it's not an emergency, please don't call triple-zero," Mr Perrottet told media on Friday.
"Triple-zero is there for emergencies.
"What we're seeing more and more of now is that people are calling triple-zero in times where there's not an emergency at hand.
"And we want obviously our emergency departments to be there for real emergencies."
The premier said there would be further funding for paramedics in the NSW June budget.
"(That funding is) incredibly important because they do an amazing job on our frontline every single day."
In the last 24 hours some 11 ambulances faced wait times of up to four hours at Wollongong Hospital emergency department before they could get back on the road, Labor Health spokesperson Ryan Park said Friday.
Mr Park said ramping in regional centres meant multiple communities had now endured periods where they were not serviced by an ambulance.
"We cannot have a situation where major centres like the Central Coast, the Illawarra, Sydney and Newcastle are left without an ambulance to patrol and service their community," Mr Park said.
"This issue of ramping is now reaching crisis levels.
"Let's be very clear - this is putting lives at risk.
"If people are calling triple-zero and they're waiting hours before they get attended to it is only a matter of time before we have catastrophic outcomes and someone loses their life."
Health Services Union delegate and paramedic Tess Oxley said paramedics were stressed and often had to apologise to patients for delays and a lack of resources.
"We're turning up to work now and have to apologise time and time again," Ms Oxley said.
"We apologise that they had to wait for how long it took us to get to them.
"We apologise for how long they're going to have to wait when we transport them to hospital.
"This isn't the patient care that we turn up to work to provide.
"It takes a toll on us as much as it's taking a toll on our patients."
On Thursday the Australian Paramedics Association announced it would ratchet up industrial action by refusing to take patients' billing details.
"We're fighting for the resourcing we need to protect the safety of our colleagues and communities," Australian Paramedics Association NSW vice-president Scott Beaton.
NSW Ambulance is in the final stages of reviewing a pilot plan to send taxis to patients who call triple-zero but are not in need of urgent care, Nine newspapers reported on Friday.
Mr Hazzard said on Thursday the public valued paramedics and government was doing its best to support them.
"But there's a lot of pressure in every different area and particularly the health area," he said.
The health minister said he did not believe many officers would take part in industrial action and he would continue working with the HSU to address concerns in the budget.
The HSU has called for a further 2000 paramedics and for existing staff to receive a pay rise.
Australian Associated Press
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