Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Inquiry: ambulance services in desperate situation

8 July 2008

Inquiry shows ambulance services in desperate situation

New Zealand's ambulance service is underfunded, under-staffed, lacks strategic direction, regulatory oversight or national clinical standards, and relies too heavily on volunteers, the Green Party's minority report says.

The Health Select Committee's report on New Zealand's ambulance service was released today, accompanied by the minority report from the Green Party.

"Frankly, New Zealand's ambulance services are in a desperate situation," Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"A major overhaul of the way ambulance services in New Zealand are operated, and a substantial injection of new funding, is urgently needed to bring the operation of the service to a safe standard.

"Ambulance officers are frontline health professionals, and should be treated as such. It is time to question why an essential emergency service has been contracted out to a number of charitable organizations which are reliant on the availability of volunteers, and doing their best on limited funds.

"The service is fragmented, there is a lack of any overall strategic direction, and a heavy reliance on volunteers.

"Astonishingly, there are no national clinical standards for this important front line health service, or even any national training programme for ambulance officers. These factors are seriously undermining the service and posing a risk to the safety of those who depend on it. "The Green Party is alarmed at the number of emergencies being responded to by single crewed ambulances, and the lack of trained ambulance paramedics in many areas.

"This places a huge strain on ambulance officers and puts lives at risk. No ambulance officer should have to choose between treating a patient and driving the ambulance to the hospital.

"Ensuring ambulances responding to emergencies have two officers on board should be a top priority, along with training of advanced paramedics, to we have the expertise to provide at the safe service."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Not Easy: Gordon Campbell On The Greens’ Ongoing Problems

Hard to treat the Greens’ belated decision to stand a candidate in Ohariu as being anything other than a desperation move, by a party whose own leadership is evidently concerned about its chances of survival...

A few months ago, the Greens felt able to forego that role in Ohariu in order to help a beleaguered Labour Party get its candidate Greg O’Connor across the line, and knock Peter Dunne out of the parliamentary frame. More>>


Closing The Gap: Ardern Rules Out Income Tax Rise

After earlier commitments by Jacinda Ardern to do something about inequality and poverty, this new position on income tax seems an about face. To do something significant about inequality requires increases in income for those at the bottom and decreases for those at the top... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need... More>>

Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election