PUBLIC PETITION TO FUND EMERGENCY AMBULANCE SERVICES

Victoria Hawkins |

St John Ambulance is very appreciative of the public’s endorsement to further fund the emergency ambulance service with the delivery of a petition to Parliament today, by private citizen Pauline Latta, with over 50,000 signatures.

St John Ambulance has historic and long-standing funding issues and continues to face significant financial challenges this year. We have received additional financial top-ups from our funders over the past couple of years which we appreciate, but we need a more sustainable funding model going forward.

The Ministry of Health and ACC fund approximately 72% of the emergency ambulance service with the balance made up from part-charges, third-party contracts and fundraising.

We believe the contribution Government provides needs to be higher for St John to continue providing a safe emergency ambulance service for the people of New Zealand.

St John’s four-year contract expires on 30 June 2021 and we are having constructive conversations with our funders.  We are confident that a more sustainable funding model will be introduced upon renewal.

St John is seeking a contract that moves us closer to being fully funded over a five-year phased approach, and while we appreciate the generosity of New Zealanders in supporting our ambulance service, we do not believe that we should be relying on generous - but unpredictable - donations to cover the core day to day running costs of an essential service. 

We are confident that the New Zealand public also want a safe emergency ambulance service that is funded at a sustainable level.  This is evidenced by today’s petition presented to Parliament and an earlier Colmar Brunton poll which saw 88% of respondents indicate that emergency ambulance services should be fully funded.

A recent Government-commissioned independent review into St John’s running of the emergency ambulance service found the service to be cost-efficient with no cross-subsidisation from the ambulance service to the other parts of St John.

St John Ambulance spends $60 per head of population each year to run its emergency service, compared with Australian ambulance services which spend on average $150 per head of population.          

PLEASE ATTRIBUTE TO CHIEF EXECUTIVE PETER BRADLEY

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