Ambulance services are a key component of the State's health service. The State Government provides considerable funding to St John Ambulance Association for the provision of statewide ambulance services, in particular to improve ambulance response times and therefore give all Western Australians better access to emergency care.
As part of the contracted arrangements with St John Ambulance:
- all Western Australian aged pensioners have access to primary ambulance services free of charge; and
- all other senior citizens over the age of 65 pay only 50 per cent of the normal cost of both emergency and urgent ambulance transport.
This agreement represents a significant ongoing financial commitment on the State’s behalf, ensuring that the State's aged pensioners and seniors have better access to emergency services. It is also an important acknowledgment of the contribution made by WA's aged pensioners and senior citizens and of the needs of those older people not able to provide for themselves.
Primary ambulance service means transport from community setting to hospital or other area health service and involves:
- assessing the patient, usually at site of accident or injury; or
- providing first aid and other pre-hospital treatment at the site and in transit