The draft Country Ambulance Strategy has opened for public comment following consultation with emergency services across the state, including at the St John Ambulance Esperance Sub Centre.
The draft strategy made various recommendations such as increasing investment in community paramedics and introducing measures to retain volunteers and improve consistency of response times.
The strategy also highlighted the need to boost communications and technology to improve communication for ambulances on the road.
About 120 meetings were held with stakeholders in nearly 40 towns across WA.
Health Minister Roger Cook said consultation with participants was undertaken confidentially in order to gain frank and honest feedback.
“While I cannot provide specifics, I am advised that Esperance was a standout sub centre and I’d like to recognise the commitment, organisation and hard work of the volunteers and community paramedics based in the area,” he said.
A common finding in the Goldfields-Esperance region was that school and public holidays often stretched the availability of volunteers and the ambulance service capacity.
Respondents in the region also expressed a desire to see combined education and training between health and ambulance to better understand each other’s roles and responsibilities.
I encourage everyone, especially residents of regional WA, to read the draft strategy and have their say.
Health Minister Roger Cook
Minister Cook said people who lived in regional WA had the right to expect ongoing, sustainable investment in their ambulance services.
“The report identifies tremendous opportunities for us to invest in technology and innovation, to improve service response times, to build on the strengths of our legion of community ambulance volunteers and to increase the number of community paramedics where they can be of most use,” he said.
“I encourage everyone, especially residents of regional WA, to read the draft strategy and have their say.”
WA Country Health Service Board chair Dr Neale Fong said in 2016 the board endorsed the development of a strategy to enable WA’s regional ambulance service to meet the needs of communities into the future.
“Ambulance services are of critical importance to country communities,” he said.
Public comment is open until December 10, 2018.
For more information or to provide feedback on the strategy click here.