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Select Committee Report on Ambulances Welcomed

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health
Hon Maryan Street
Minister for Acc

8 July 2008 Media Statement

Ministers welcome Select Committee Report on Ambulances

The Minister of Health, David Cunliffe and the Minister for ACC Maryan Street described today’s Health Select Committee report on Ambulance Services as an important step forward.

“It seems a well researched and well reasoned report that is worthy of serious consideration by the government. We will consider it in detail and take advice on it. The Government already has a policy of moving towards double crewing, as appropriate, as soon as resources allow.”

“I am pleased that it was done on a bi-partisan basis, however to implement its recommendations the government will have to look at a rethink of Health spending priorities,” said Mr Cunliffe.

The Minister of Health also says many the concerns outlined in the Health Select Committee’s report will be largely met by a newly developed strategy.

“Jointly the Minister of ACC, and I instructed officials in March to develop a draft National Ambulance Strategy. Now that the Health Select Committee response has been received Minister Street and I have asked ACC and the Ministry of Health to now consult on the draft strategy.”

“The government is committed to ensuring New Zealand has a high quality and dependable ambulance service. This commitment has been demonstrated through Vote Health increases in funding (for St John, Wellington Free Ambulance and Emergency Communication Centres) of:

• A 19% increase for 2006/07 on the 2005/06 base funding

• A 25% increase over two years on the 2006/07 base funding

• A one-off 5% payment, to St John and Wellington Free Ambulance, on the 2006/07 baseline funding in 2007/08 “

“This stabilisation funding has enabled improvements to ambulance officers’ clinical education and staffing. With the Health Select Committee report and consultation on the draft Ambulance Strategy we are well placed to move on from stabilization to building the ambulance sector as the first line of emergency intervention. “

ENDS

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