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Claims of Ambulance Crisis worries Turia

Claims of Ambulance Crisis worries Turia

Tariana Turia, Member for Te Tai Hauauru April 11 2006

Claims that "there would not be an ambulance service in the country that is meeting the sector standards" give rise to huge concern says Tariana Turia, Maori Party spokesperson for health.

The claims have arisen following questions that Dr Pita Sharples asked in the House last week, about Whanganui ambulance officers who are considering taking industrial action to highlight the health and safety issues around the current sector crisis.

"The Maori Party was urged to look into the actual operations of the New Zealand Ambulance Sector Standards" said Mrs Turia.

"The two criteria that cause particular concern are: - clause 5.1.2 which specifies the crewing of emergency ambulances; - response times and capability for road ambulances - [desired response time of 8 minutes for 75% of emergency calls]"

"We were told the standards are without teeth, and are not compulsory" said Mrs Turia.

"As we have seen demonstrated in Whanganui recently, the limitations of a single-crewed service, and delays in dispatching requests, cause huge risks for citizens, if they are already in an emergency situation".

"I will be taking these issues up with the Minister of Health as a matter of urgency" said Mrs Turia.

"The worst case scenario is that people will ring for an ambulance and no one will be available - lives are placed at risk, and ultimately, the limited capacity of the ambulance services could lead to loss of life".

ENDS

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