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St John welcomes Government funding boost

St John welcomes Government funding boost

St John welcomes today’s news that more than $100 million will be included in this year’s budget to provide double crewing of all emergency ambulance responses over the next four years.

The package also introduces a new sustainable funding model to increase St John’s baseline funding and to meet growing demand for ambulance services while addressing historic shortfalls. “Ending single crewing is one of the most significant developments in our ambulance service history,” says Chief Executive Peter Bradley. “We will be able to recruit 430 frontline jobs over four years and provide rural New Zealand with the same crewing levels as urban areas – a move that will save more lives and make it safer for our crews.”

“It will also give us the chance to promote from within and for a large number of our volunteer ambulance officers to become paid staff.”

Mr Bradley says the funding shows the Government’s commitment to ambulance services and recognises St John’s unique role in the New Zealand health system. “It means we’ll be in a better position to meet the growing demand for emergency primary care and community health services.”

While 375 of these roles will address single crewing, the remaining roles will be to deal with current and future increases in demand.

He says phasing out single-crewed emergency ambulances has been a priority for several years, and the new funding model means St John can now plan for it with certainty.

“It will take time to gear up and implement, and the first step is reviewing each station across the country. One size does not fit all and we’ll be talking with local communities and our people on the ground to find the best approach in each area.”

One thing that won’t change is St John’s charity status and we will still need the support of New Zealanders through donations and part charges for ambulance services.

“We’ll still need to fund more than 25 per cent of our costs through donations and will continue to rely on the generosity of New Zealanders to maintain services and continue improving.” -ENDS-

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