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A tragic call to Improve Emergency Responses

Death of baby in Tokoroa a tragic call to Improve Emergency Responses

Tariana Turia, Health Spokesperson and MP for Te Tai Hauauru

Friday 11 January 2008

The tragic loss of life which occured following a single-crewed ambulance being dispatched to an emergency call out in Tokoroa, has enraged local MP for Te Tai Hauauru, Tariana Turia.

"Our essential front line crisis services are too important for safety to be compromised" said Mrs Turia.

"The Government must step up to the plate, and fund these services adequately" said Mrs Turia.

"While I applaud the absolute dedicated commitment of our volunteers, they should not be expected to front an emergency crisis service".

"My aroha goes to the whanau in Tokoroa, who are grieving the loss of their baby boy" said Mrs Turia.

"From the reports I have heard, the mother was forced to perform CPR on her baby while a single crew ambulance officer drove them to hospital" said Mrs Turia.

"The key concern for us in the Maori Party, is that this is yet another case where we believe front-line workers and whanau alike are having their lives endangered all for the sake of the government pinching pennies" said Mrs Turia.

Last year, there were approximately 50,000 emergency ambulance call-outs in which only a single crew was available.

"While St John Ambulance have described the driver as an 'advanced paramedic', the key thing is, at the point of crisis that paramedic was in charge of a vehicle and unable to give the vital support needed to the baby and mother" said Mrs Turia.

"We want to see people properly cared for - including the workers at the front line - by ensuring that all emergency responses in New Zealand are fully crewed, and with secure funding to be able to do so".

ENDS

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