Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Ambulance underfunding puts lives at risk

Ambulance underfunding puts lives at risk

Green MP Sue Kedgley says lives are being put at risk because of a lack of ambulance staff, and she’s calling on the Government to provide sufficient funding for all ambulances in emergency response situations to be fully crewed.

The Green Party has obtained a review of funding of ambulance services, under the Official Information Act, in which the government reveals it would cost between $5 million and $17 million for ambulances to be fully crewed.

The report was due for release in October 2003 and follows a 60,000-signature petition from the Federation of Ambulance Officer Unions of New Zealand, requesting Parliament to take action to address the adequacy of funding for crewing on ambulances.

Ms Kedgley said the ambulance service had been dogged by a charity mentality, and it was time the government acknowledged it was an essential, frontline health service, and as such needed to be funded properly.

“Five to seventeen million dollars is not a huge amount to ensure that front-line health professionals can respond properly and save lives in an emergency.”

She said government foot-dragging was putting lives at risk: “Many aspects of an ambulance officer's job cannot be carried out by an ambulance officer working alone. Precious time and lives can be lost if lone ambulance officers have to wait for back-up to arrive at serious accident sites.

“The New Zealand standard stipulates that all ambulance services providing an emergency response capability must operate with a minimum of two crew,” Ms Kedgley said. “Yet the standard is being systematically flouted, particularly in regions such as Wellington.

Ms Kedgley, who rode with Wellington ambulance officers on a fact-finding mission, said the lack of full crewing often results in two ambulances attending some emergency situations with a single ambulance officer in each ambulance, and then leaving one ambulance behind to be picked up later.

"The Government’s failure to adequately fund our over-stretched ambulance service has left it in the ludicrous situation of having to rely on pokie machines and raffles in order to function.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election