Ambulance Victoria has introduced a program of random alcohol and drug testing of staff that will test 20 per cent of staff in the first year.
Ambulance Victoria has submitted an interim report to the Independent Broadbased Anti-corruption Commission after a two-year investigation called Operation Tone found paramedics stealing, trafficking and using illicit drugs, mainly in the Barwon South West region.
As part of the reforms, random testing will continue on a weekly basis.
So far this year, 402 Ambulance Victoria employees across the state have been drug and alcohol tested and two employees have tested positive for illicit drugs.
Ambulance Victoria acting chief executive Mick Stephenson said random drug and alcohol testing was an important part of the broader reform agenda that had been under way during the past two years.
‘‘We are randomly testing a large proportion of both our operational and non-operational workforce over the next 12 months to ensure we are satisfied illicit drug use is not a widespread issue at Ambulance Victoria,’’ Mr Stephenson said.
‘‘We want to ... take the appropriate action if illegal drug use is identified.’’
Employees who test positive for illicit drugs are placed on temporary leave and can be suspended, pending an investigation. A return-to-work plan for these employees can involve sanctions and additional supervision.
Ambulance Victoria will provide its final implementation report to IBAC at the end of September.