National's Ambulance Response Limp After Years Of Neglect

National has come out with a blister patch approach to New Zealand ambulance services, after years of letting them bleed, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“To be blunt, National has allowed patients to suffer, perhaps die, by failing to heed the calls for more funding for St John and other services.

“Today’s announcement of 375 extra medical personnel will be welcomed only because ambulance services are desperate.

“National has cynically ignored the needs right till we are on the verge of the election.

“They have the nerve after nine years to announce a funding model that is not completed till 2021 which, on their record, by that time will be obsolete.

“Our ambulances only get 70 per cent government funding, so have to beg from the public for more.

“So much for a free ambulance service.

“They are running at losses. St John had a staggering $7m plus deficit in 2015, it has been sending out ambulances with only one crew member and has been warning the government for years that more funding is needed, as did the parliamentary select committee nine years ago.

“New Zealand First wants every ambulance to be double crewed and we want ambulance services properly funded.

“The country has had a massive population increase, we have an ageing population and we get a feeble response, only because it is election year.”

“The National  Party’s theme for this election will be much too little, much too late,” says Mr Peters