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Wheels are spinning but ambulances going nowhere

Jonathan Coleman MP
National Party Associate Health Spokesman

14 November 2007

Wheels are spinning but ambulances going nowhere

Despite eight years of taxpayer-funded reports into ambulance services in New Zealand, ACC cannot say what the public has got for those millions of dollars, says National Party Associate Health spokesman Jonathan Coleman.

The admission came during the same hearing in which the Ministry of Health advised that despite an extra 67 fulltime staff in the past three years, there has been no improvement in response times for emergencies.

“This is bureaucracy gone mad.”

Dr Coleman is commenting on today’s hearings before Parliament’s Health Select Committee on day one of the committee’s inquiry into ambulance services.

“In 1999, the Ministry of Health and ACC produced Roadside to Bedside; in 2001 the Ministers of Health and ACC issued a directive to the ministry and the department to look at ambulance services; in 2002, ACC commissioned Putting the Patient First: a plan to empower New Zealand’s ambulance sector.

“Subsequently, we’ve had the Ambulance Services Sustainable Funding Review, the Ambulance Sector Service Standard, the Ambulance Sector Service Standard Review, and now the Ambulance Communication Project.

“At the end of all these costly reports and reviews, all ACC can say when asked what improvements there have been to services to the public is ‘we don’t know’.

“The Labour Government needs to deliver more than bureaucratic reports to solve the crisis in our ambulance services, yet it doesn’t appear capable of anything else,” says Dr Coleman.

National supports the Health Select Committee inquiry into ambulance services.


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