20 Feb 2024

Ambulance availability cut back due to a budget blowout

From Morning Report, 7:40 am on 20 February 2024

A $5.5 million defecit in Hato Hone St John's finances has forced the ambulance service to cut back on its staff cover.

The charity does not expect its cuts to ambulance callouts will impact the quality of patient care, but lower priority patients may have to wait longer for an ambulance.

The Ambulance Association's national secretary Mark Quinn told RNZ that the ambulance service's cost-cutting measures could hold potentially fatal outcomes for patients.

But Hato Hone St John's deputy chief executive Dan Ohs says immediately life-threatening calls will still be given the highest priority.

He spoke to Ingrid Hipkiss.