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Government Defends Decision
Sunday, 17 May 2009

Nathan Rees Confronted
The NSW State Govenment defends it's decision to not implement a Bundeena ambulance station as part of Recommendation 37 of the NSW Ambulance Inquiry.

The following is taken from page 17 of the May 2009 report: NSW Government Response to the Legislative Council General Purpose Standing Committee No.2 inquiry into the Management and Operations of the Ambulance Service of NSW.

Recommendation 37

That the Ambulance Service of NSW provide a dedicated ambulance service in Bundeena, consisting of an ambulance station or a car stationed with 24 hour rostered cove

The Government has already addressed issues to ensure that Bundeena has proper and sustainable access to emergency care. The provision of ambulance services in Bundeena has already been assessed against the extent of ambulance coverage in the area and competing priorities across NSW.

The Ambulance Service has now put in place arrangements to ensure that the communities in Bundeena and Maianbar have access to 24 hour a day, seven days a week emergency care. This is supported by the on-call services of three Ambulance paramedics who live in the area, with a standard ambulance patient transport unit and a four wheel drive utility vehicle available.

A community first responder scheme for Bundeena has already been established, consistent with services in similar communities. This is being provided in partnership with the NSW Fire Brigades in Bundeena and has been in place since August 2008. This will ensure that a sustainable long term service is provided to the community.

Community First Responders do not replace paramedics; they provide timely clinical intervention for patients while the nearest ambulance is dispatched to the scene. Ambulance resources are controlled centrally and resources are fluidly deployed to areas of greatest demand. If the paramedic on call is responding as a single responder and a person requires transport, the Fire Brigade First Responders can drive an ambulance to the hospital, while the paramedic attends to caring for the person.

As with other areas, NSW Health will monitor the need for service changes in Bundeena and Maianbar. Of note, there was no consensus within the Committee with regard to this recommendation and it was noted that “endorsing the introduction of new individual ambulance stations in a geographic area without any analysis of the need or current coverage is outside the terms of reference of this Committee” (p223).

Related Story - Bundeena Ambulance Station Rejected

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