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Ambulance Strategy a Mixed Bag

National Distribution Union

September 15, 2008

Ambulance Strategy a Mixed Bag

The NDU says the recommendations in a Draft New Zealand Ambulance Strategy released today are a mixed bag.

Ambulance Sector Coordinator Craig Page says the union is pleased that paramedics will be recognised as frontline health care providers and welcomes a move towards national consistency in service delivery.

He is not so happy with other aspects of the strategy.

“The draft fails to comment on the critical safety issue of single crewing in ambulances,” he says.

“There has been widespread public concern about this and it should not be ignored.

“We are also disappointed there is no specific model for service delivery to rural and provincial communities. Population based models don’t work well in these areas.”

Mr Page says the report should have looked at whether ambulance services should continue to be run by individual District Health Boards.

“These services are increasingly complex and expensive and the NDU has previously recommended that there should be only one national ambulance provider.

“We were not consulted prior to the release of the draft strategy. As a representative of paramedics we are a key stakeholder and should have been part of the development committee.”

ENDS

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