Background

In the past 20 years a number of reviews have identified issues around the current model of country ambulance services.

The Statewide ambulance review in 1997 by former MLC the Hon. Bruce Donaldson found inconsistencies in resources supporting country ambulance services and identified there was a diminishing source of volunteers to meet service demands and needs.

In 2009 an independent inquiry by Mr Greg Joyce identified that due to the importance and complexity of service provision, a detailed examination of country ambulance services was needed to tailor solutions to address the individual needs of each region.

Following the 2009 review, $41.1 million was invested from 2011/12 to 2015/16 to provide:

  • 23 SJA community paramedics across country WA
  • SJA volunteer membership support officer
  • seven SJA regional managers
  • Aboriginal community subscription fund and improved ambulance services to Aboriginal people in country WA
  • enhancement of ambulance services provided by WACHS in Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek.

In 2013 the Office of the Auditor General conducted a follow-up review which recommended longer term solutions to improve and maintain clinical governance of country ambulance services.

In August 2016 the Review of SJA Health and Wellbeing/Workplace Culture by the Independent Oversight Panel chaired by Dr Neale Fong also highlighted the risks and sustainability issues of country ambulance services.