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Ambulance review shows services in good health

10 November 2004 Media Statement

Ambulance review shows services in good health

A funding review of the country’s ambulance operators shows they are in relatively good financial shape to continue to provide current levels of services, Associate Health Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

“In 2002/2003, non-governmental ambulance providers had a surplus of $6.7m on their overall operations, with individual deficits being insignificant. Surpluses have also been posted in the previous four years.”

The Sustainable Funding Review for Ambulance Services was produced by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with service providers to get a clearer picture of funding needs in the ambulance sector. The sector is funded from a range of sources, including the Ministry of Health, ACC, district health boards, public donations and user charges.

“This is the first major review of New Zealand’s ambulance services and provides valuable information to further develop services in the future,” Ruth Dyson said.

“As well as examining funding, the review also identifies several quality-related issues that require further work, including questions over optimum staffing levels, emergency response times and training.

“More work needs to be done to determine the true benefits and costs of double crewing. Our ambulance services do a great job but, as in other parts of the health system, there will always be resource constraints and there will always be room for doing things more effectively within those constraints.

“I will be discussing the review with the Ministry of Health, particularly to look at the work that is needed to ensure consistently high quality services throughout the country.”


Copies of the review are available at www.moh.govt.nz, under ‘news and issues’, ‘what’s new’.


ENDS

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