Ambulance charges set to rise

Patients transported by St John Ambulance in emergencies will be charged more by the organisation as it tries to keep up with demand.

In some areas the charge will rise by $13.00.

Patients pay a part-charge to St John if they are treated by an ambulance officer or transported in an ambulance because of a medical emergency.

"We are increasing our part charges in response to increasing demand for our services. In the year ending 30 June 2013 the number of 111 emergency calls for an ambulance increased by over 14,000 compared to the previous year," St John operations director Michael Brooke said.

"People tell us they are comfortable to pay a part charge, given the high quality of the service and treatment they receive, and when they understand that the part charge goes towards funding frontline ambulance staff."

St John does not provide emergency ambulance services in Wellington or Wairarapa.

Contracts with the Ministry of Health, ACC and District Health Boards fund nearly 80 per cent of St John Ambulance Service direct operating costs. The shortfall is made up from community donations, fundraising, revenue from commercial activities, the contribution of volunteers, as well as contributions from part charges.

St John is a charity and relies on financial and voluntary support from the community to help fund all the services it provides to New Zealanders.

Nearly 5000 St John staff are involved in emergency ambulance, patient transfer services and events - over 60 per cent of whom are volunteers.

They care for and save the lives of thousands of New Zealanders and visitors to the country every year. St John staff treat over 415,000 people each year.


Northland, Taranaki, Manawatu, Whanganui: Current rate $75, rate from April $88
Auckland Coromandel, Waikato (including Taumarunui), Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Lakes, Tairawhiti, all of the South Island: Current rate $84, rate from April $88
Flat rate for those not eligible for New Zealand publicly funded health services: Current rate: $769, rate from April $800


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