Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hints at ambulance service funding boost

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has hinted that a funding boost for ambulance services is coming.

Currently, the Ministry of Health and ACC fund 72 percent of St John's operating costs, while the remaining roughly $65 million has to come from fundraising efforts and ambulance charges.

On Tuesday, Ardern was on The AM Show ahead of the Government's Well-Being Budget next week and hinted that St John and other ambulance services could soon see a funding boost.

"I think it is fair to say that we do need to work on a bit of a plan. There has been some discussion for some time around the fact that, unusually… St Johns and our ambulance services aren't fully funded," she said.

"It is, I think, something that we need to work on with them and so that long-term sustainability is something we need a plan around.

"There is a bit more work to do, so I don't want to overstate the plans that are currently underway, but it is fair to say that we acknowledge that there is an issue there."

She said Kiwis would likely find it "odd" that the system doesn't provide greater help to ambulances, but paramedics have long publicly called on the Government for more funding.

After the Christchurch terror attacks, paramedic Dean Brown said it didn't make sense that one of the core emergency services had to rely on donations.

"The fact that in my view we're one of three core emergency services along with police and fire and emergency, and we rely on communities to provide donations to fund the service, along with part-charging, to us it just doesn't make sense.

"That money could be better used by families in their communities and on themselves rather than funding a core emergency service."


Contact Newshub with your story tips: