Help St John become fully funded, it's a travesty they aren't already!

Help St John become fully funded, it's a travesty they aren't already!

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St John Ambulance is facing a crisis!  Running an $18 million deficit last year, this year will see a much bigger gap, with newspaper articles talking about a $30 million cost saving programme and a reduction in donations already.  Paramedics are not paid fair market rates and are relying on volunteers to find donations to pay wages.

Please help our national ambulance emergency service St John by signing this petition asking our Government to finally provide a fully funded system for an exceptional and crucial service saving lives on a daily basis.

No matter your socio-economic status, your age, gender, culture, political status or otherwise , at some point in your life you have probably known someone who has needed, or will need to use the ambulance service, St John.  I personally know the fear you feel, first-hand, waiting on an ambulance to arrive - and they always do.  

Our health is the big leveller in life and as such, St John is a vital service in our communities.  That is fact.

Why then do they need to fundraise, seek donation or bequeaths, or beg for money to continue this service that helps so many people. And that was before Covid-19 appeared!

They employ 3,000 people with another 8,000 volunteers helping each year.  They are currently looking to cut 100 jobs to initially save $10 million.  This is only the start of cost cutting.    What will happen if they need to reduce their critical ambulance service??

The realities are these:

  • St John provides emergency ambulance services to 90% of New Zealanders and covers 97% of the country’s geographical area
  • St John received over half a million calls into 111 emergency Control Centres and treated and/or transported almost 500,000 patients in the last financial year
  • New Zealand’s other emergency and health services are funded – the Police by the Government, Fire and Emergency by Insurance Levies and Government and DHBs (hospitals) by Government.
  • St John is one of two providers of ambulance services in Aotearoa – the other is Wellington Free Ambulance.  St John and WFA are contracted by ACC and the Ministry of Health.
  • Every year it costs around $240 million to run the service, however St John are only funded for 70%, around $170 million per year.  That leaves a shortfall of $70 million but that is only at the status quo.  To improve pay conditions, service, equipment and resources extra money is needed on top. 
  • To ensure certainty of service, resource and equipment, an extra $100 million is needed each year.
  • Every year an army of volunteers stand in the streets seeking donation just to maintain the service.
  • Some of the funding deficit is filled by first aid courses income, call-out charges and general donations.  This only comes to around $30 million.
  • The “Covid” effect has not hit yet, however there will be less spare money amongst donors or businesses who have traditionally supported St John.
  • St John is having to cut more costs including looking at their own staffing.  This will inevitably mean more pressure on the frontline service. 
  • They are currently borrowing millions every 12 weeks just to pay wages at a basic level.

*This information comes from St John's own website and recent media interviews

This is the time to stand up and be counted.  What price do you put on you or your family’s life?

Our St John staff are under immense pressure and do a truly amazing job, often under difficult circumstances.  St John has asked our Government many times for an increased funding model with no traction, why should they have to?

Sign this petition and ask our Government to fully fund this vital emergency service provided by St John.  Extra money is being spent on tourism, business and employment.  All valid areas to spend money, but less crucial than fully funding an emergency service saving the lives of our loved ones on a daily basis.  It is hard to believe we are even having to have this conversation.  All other first world countries’ Governments fund their ambulance services.

This petition will be handed to our Government in person.

Please note that any donation made here goes into advertising this petition further via change.org. Should you wish to donate directly to St John while we wait for the Government to step up please visit their website stjohn.org.nz