11/02/2020 | Stephen Wade MLC | Better Services

Regional South Australians will soon benefit from a boost in health services amid today’s launch of a Marshall Liberal Government’s draft plan to grow our ambulance workforce in rural areas.

The Rural Ambulance Workforce Plan, which is part of the State Liberal Government’s $20 million Rural Health Workforce Strategy, is focused on delivering better patient services by growing the regional ambulance workforce and capabilities, strengthening the delivery of care in regional areas.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the Strategy will bolster ambulance services by attracting and retaining a range of other health professionals in rural areas.

“The Marshall Government made a commitment to regional South Australians to provide them with the best possible patient care and health services and we are delivering on that promise,” Minister Wade said.

“South Australia faces many challenges in recruiting, training and developing the health professionals and skilled volunteers needed to deliver ambulance services in regional areas.

“We recognise the increasing demand for ambulance services in regional areas, and this draft plan will ensure that people in more remote areas have access to the best possible emergency care when and where they need it.

Consultation on the draft plan will run through February and March, with clinicians and key stakeholders coming together to provide valuable feedback.

The plan will complement the Marshall Government’s unprecedented commitment to regional health which includes:

- $20 million to develop and implement the Rural Health Workforce Strategy

- About$200 million to significantly improve country hospital infrastructure

- $5.7 million to rebuild or upgrade SAAS stations throughout the State

SA Ambulance Service, Chief Executive, David Place, said consultation sessions will be held in each regional Local Health Network and are a great opportunity for community members to be a part of the planning process and voice their opinions about the delivery of ambulance services in their local area.

“It is extremely important for ambulance services and skilled volunteers to be available in each Local Health Network so communities can receive timely emergency medical care when they need it,” Mr Place said.

“Through the plan, we want to ensure that the levels of ambulance services delivered to regional communities meet current needs, are flexible enough to change when the needs of communities change, and consider the needs and welfare of the paid and volunteer workforces.

“Some of the strategies outlined in the plan include building new and sustainable models for rural emergency health care, expanding pathways to provide multidisciplinary training opportunities and increasing technological support to clinicians in a rural setting.

“By engaging clinicians and stakeholders throughout regional South Australia, we hope to receive valuable feedback that will shape the final SAAS Rural Workforce Plan and deliver a service that better meets the needs of the local community.”

Consultation will begin in February and the final SAAS Rural Workforce Plan is expected to be released later this year.*