- Country ambulance services boosted with an additional eight paid paramedics engaged in the Wheatbelt and Pilbara
- Paramedics to be located in high priority areas including Newman, Merredin and Narrogin
- Appointments further deliver on McGowan Government commitment to country ambulance sustainability
Eight additional paid paramedics are being introduced to towns in the Wheatbelt and Pilbara to further strengthen country ambulance services and support volunteers.
This fulfils the McGowan Government's $10 million announcement in May to recruit 25 more paid paramedics to regional Western Australia.
Additional investment in the paramedic workforce provides greater support to country volunteers and paramedics which, in turn, improves health outcomes for patients.
Since May this year, the Country Ambulance Strategy - Striving for Equity in Country WA has seen 17 additional paid paramedics recruited across regional WA, with the final eight to be located in Newman, Merredin and Narrogin.
These locations were carefully selected following research and analysis on ambulance activity and performance.
Three paramedics will be employed in Newman, complementing the local hospital's $61.4 million redevelopment, which includes a $15 million contribution from BHP WA Iron Ore, and recognises growth in Newman and surrounding areas.
The eastern Wheatbelt will also benefit from the addition of two and a half full-time equivalent paid paramedics located in Merredin, providing support to local ambulance volunteers and offering paramedic services to surrounding areas including Southern Cross.
Investment in a further two and a half full-time equivalent paramedics will be seen in the southern Wheatbelt, near the Narrogin Health Service.
The new paid paramedics are expected to commence in the last quarter of 2021.
New solutions are also currently being explored to improve how non-urgent patients are transferred between hospitals as well as how further investment in transport for mental health patients and community members will benefit regional WA.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"This investment ensures further enhancement of country ambulance services and delivers on our commitment to strengthen and support the sustainability of the volunteer model.
"The volunteer model is a strong one, it brings communities together, and I cannot thank the volunteers enough for dedicating their time and experience to the needs of their communities.
"The paid paramedics will bolster volunteers' good work, help improve the ambulance response and provide greater support to communities who need it most.
"During the WA country ambulance strategy's first phase, the McGowan Government invested $3.6 million for six new ambulances and paid paramedics in the Kimberley.
"The current investment in the Pilbara and the Wheatbelt is part of the McGowan Government's additional $10 million commitment to country ambulance services."
Minister's office - 6552 6500