Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says work is well underway towards double crewing all emergency road ambulances by 2021, with services in Taupo, Turangi and Te Awamutu on track to be double crewed in the coming months.
"The double crewing of all emergency road ambulances will help ensure patients get the best available care when they need it. It also enhances the safety and well-being of our dedicated ambulance staff,” says Dr Coleman.
“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. This will be particularly beneficial for regional and rural communities.
“St John identified Taupo, Turangi and Te Awamutu as centres to start the roll-out of double crewing of all emergency road ambulance call-outs across the country.
“Eight emergency medical assistants have been recruited in the Taupo and Turangi area, and another four in Te Awamutu. These recruits will work with existing crew to ensure all emergency road ambulance call-outs will be double crewed in the coming months.
“Recruitment is underway in St John’s next group of regional priority areas, set to be double crewed by the end of the year, which include Tokoroa, Ohakune, Timaru, Westport, and Whangarei.
"To support road ambulances and to ensure that they are consistently double crewed when a helicopter also requires a paramedic on board, we are also recruiting more staff who can be deployed on helicopter services.
“St John is in the process of recruiting two intensive care paramedics for the Whangarei helicopter service. More crew will be recruited for helicopter services in Hamilton, Palmerston North, Napier and Christchurch.”
An extra $21 million has been allocated through Vote Health to support air ambulance services, emergency road ambulance services and ambulance communications centres over the next four years.
The Government has invested $59.2 million over the next four years for 375 additional ambulance staff which will ensure all emergency road ambulance call outs are double crewed by 2021.
Notes to Editors:
Double crewing will create 375 more paramedic and emergency medical roles over the next four years in the following districts