Establishing an independent advocacy group for St John Ambulance volunteers, delivering more community paramedics to the regions, and ensuring small sub-centres have access to the latest vehicles and equipment will be key priorities for The Nationals WA if elected in March.
The $40 million commitment was announced by Leader Mia Davies and health spokesperson Martin Aldridge in Moora today.
Ms Davies praised the role of St John Ambulance staff and volunteers across regional WA.
“St John Ambulance is responsible for more than 11,000 volunteers in WA, servicing the largest health jurisdiction in the world, and last year alone they answered 43,000 call outs in regional WA,” Ms Davies said.
“Regional paramedics and volunteers play a vital role keeping our communities safe and responding to emergency incidents, however, the workload can be onerous, and the situations volunteers encounter can be challenging, leading to volunteer burnout.
“St John Ambulance provides an invaluable service to regional WA and it’s the role of Government to continue to support this iconic organization so they can continue to answer the call when needed.”
If elected, The Nationals WA will commit $29 million to deploy an additional 18 community paramedics across regional WA to areas of need, and a $10 million fund would ensure some of the State’s smallest sub-centres remain sustainable and well equipped.
“We’ve seen how effective community paramedics are and volunteers tell us they appreciate that extra support on the ground. Our commitment will boost the total number of community paramedics across regional WA to 45 ensuring they can continue supporting our volunteer sub-centres.”
An additional $1 million will be used to create WA’s first volunteer association to advocate for and protect the interests of more than 11,000 ambulance volunteers across the State.
Health spokesperson Martin Aldridge said giving volunteers a voice would assist creating better work environments, improve relations and create a greater awareness of the role volunteers play within and outside the health sector.
“St John Ambulance plays a huge role in regional WA, and volunteers often encounter very difficult and challenging circumstances in their volunteer roles,” Mr Aldridge said.
“Other emergency service organisations have representative bodies to advocate on their behalf, however, St John Ambulance volunteers don’t have access to a similar body.
“This will give volunteers much-needed support and advocacy and will also help to guide organisational and government decisions to make sure WA’s ambulance and health services are world class.