Western Australia Minister for Health Roger Cook
New Strategy To Strengthen Western Australia’s Country Ambulance Services
Victor P Taffa
- Draft Country Ambulance Strategy open for public comment until December 10, 2018
- Strategy, a McGowan Government election commitment, acknowledges the tremendous contribution made by volunteers
- Identifies need for greater support including in the areas of workforce, technology and innovation
Health Minister Roger Cook today confirmed that a wide-ranging plan to strengthen Western Australia’s country ambulance service was well underway, with the public now invited to have their say.
“McGowan Government made an election commitment to implement a plan for the future of country ambulance services today is an important step towards fulfilling this commitment.” Minister for Health Roger Cook said.
“People who live in country Western Australia have a right to expect ongoing, sustainable investment in their ambulance services despite the significant geographical challenges presented by our vast and remote State.”
Draft Country Ambulance Strategy has been released for public consultation with people who live in country Western Australia encouraged to have their say.
Draft strategy is in line with a McGowan Government election commitment and the result of extensive consultation with key stakeholders who use and run ambulance services in country communities.
“In 2016 the Western Australia Country Health Service Board endorsed the development of a strategy to enable Western Australia’s country ambulance service to meet the needs of regional communities into the future.” WACHS Board chairperson, Professor Neale Fong said.
“Ambulance services are of critical importance to country communities. This draft strategy outlines the necessary foundations for ensuring safe and sustainable ambulance services for future generations.”
It recognises the crucial role of Western Australia’s ambulance volunteers and confirms volunteers provide ambulance response in more regional and remote locations in Western Australia than in any other State in Australia.
It makes a range of recommendations including increasing investment in community paramedics, measures to retain volunteers and improving consistency of response times.
Strategy also highlights boosting communications and technology to improve communication to and from every ambulance on the road.
A major recommendation is the implementation of a policy framework to set a foundation for the future and ensure consistent standards across all communities.
To develop the draft strategy, about 120 meetings were held with key stakeholders in nearly 40 towns across Western Australia along with a review of best practice in geographically challenging communities internationally.
Public comment is open until December 10, 2018.
WACH Western Australia Country Health