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Not enough ambulances in Wanganui – Borrows

Chester Borrows
National Party MP

6 April 2006

Not enough ambulances in Wanganui – Borrows

There are not enough ambulance officers in Wanganui to manage emergency calls from the region’s 40,000 residents, says National Party Whanganui MP Chester Borrows.

“Although funding for the ambulance service provides for two vehicles during the day and one at night, with up to two volunteer crews available, this is not a true picture of the reality in Wanganui,” says Mr Borrows.

Ambulance officers in Wanganui are considering taking industrial action to highlight the health and safety issues around the poor levels of services.

“I asked the Minister of Health a number of written questions in December, following an appalling incident where an ambulance was not available for a man who collapsed in the main street of Wanganui in the middle of the day.

“This is not about salary negotiation. This is about health and safety issues for the Wanganui community and its ambulance officers.

“Last month the failure of a recently installed dispatch system meant that an ambulance was dispatched 20 minutes late, by which time a rest home resident had died from choking.

“Wanganui people frequently have no ambulance services available and it is just not good enough.

“I am sick and tired of the Labour Government telling us that all is well, when our local people are being subjected to a third-rate service.

“Nobody would stomach this lack of service in Wellington or Palmerston North – why should we put up with it in Wanganui?

“I praise the ambulance service for the excellent job they do, given the scant resources they are provided with,” says Mr Borrows.

ENDS

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