Budget 2017 invests an additional $59.2 million over four years to ensure all road ambulance call outs are double crewed, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne and ACC Minister Michael Woodhouse say.
“The Government is focused on getting patients the care they need when they need it, and our ambulance services have a key role to play in this,” Dr Coleman says.
“We’re creating 375 new emergency medical and paramedic roles across the country over the next four years to ensure all emergency road ambulance call outs are double crewed by 2021.
“Double crewing all road ambulance call outs will help ensure patients are provided with the best care possible, as well as support the safety and wellbeing of our dedicated paramedic workforce.”
Emergency road ambulance call outs are already almost entirely double crewed within the Wellington region. For the rest of the country, last year nearly 38,500 of the 393,000 call outs were single crewed, that’s around 10 per cent.
The new policy is also expected to create a significant operational efficiency with around 6,000 fewer incidents each year requiring two ambulances to respond.
Budget 2017 is investing $59.2 million over four years to fund the new policy through Vote Health in partnership with ACC. Vote Health has committed
$31.2 million, with the additional $28 million coming from ACC. This cost will be met from a combination of the ACC Non-Earners’ Account, which is funded from general taxation, and from ACC levies.
“Through Vote Health we are also investing $21 million over the next four years which will support a new funding arrangement for emergency air ambulance services and ambulance communications centres,” Mr Dunne says.
“The new arrangement will address financial sustainability issues by ensuring a clearer funding path that providers can work within.
“The additional funding will also maintain air ambulance services as they face significant increases in demand.
“I am advised that this is the single biggest increase that has gone into our emergency ambulance services, and a further commitment by this Government to strengthening core New Zealand infrastructure.
“It is my expectation that ambulance providers will continue to work closely with Fire and Emergency New Zealand to maximise efficiencies and responses to emergencies.”
The ambulance services are funded through Vote Health and ACC. In total the service will receive over $52 million from Vote Health and an additional $82 million from ACC over the next four years.
“The public expects their ACC contributions to be invested wisely,” Mr Woodhouse says.
“Investing in double crewing and other ambulance services will help ensure better outcomes for those Kiwis who are most in need of support.”
Notes to Editors:
Double crewing will create 375 more paramedic and emergency medical roles over the next four years in the following districts