Emergency care for regional South Australians is being bolstered by a multi-million funding boost which will create jobs and upgrade rural and remote ambulance stations throughout the state.
The Marshall Liberal Government has committed $5.7 million to the SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) Major Capital Plan which will see stations rebuilt in Roxby Downs, Birdwood, Hawker and Strathalbyn and major upgrades of stations at Meadows, Goolwa, Port Broughton, Tailem Bend, Gladstone, Kapunda, Coonalpyn and Lameroo.
Other minor upgrades are also scheduled for completion by 2021 at Streaky Bay, Marion Bay, Wudinna, Peterborough, Balaklava, Crystal Brook, Eudunda and Clare.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade said this investment means that those who look after our community are provided with modern fit-for-purpose bases that are appropriately resourced to meet an increasing demand for services.
He said the capital works would also help stimulate local economies through construction jobs.
"It doesn't stop here, with a further $4.5 million in upgrades to stations on a priority basis planned over the next four years" said Minister Wade.
The plan also includes the continued rollout of equipment upgrades, consisting of satellite phones replacements, Automated External Defibrillator batteries, drug room security and power-assisted stretchers, which improve both patients and officer safety.
Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP welcomed the investment allocated for ambulance stations in Narungga electorate which includes $150,000 to upgrade the Port Broughton station and an $80,000 upgrade for Marion Bay station.
"This investment will ensure these communities have modern fit-for-purpose bases to meet increasing demands", Mr Ellis said.
SA Ambulance Service Chief Executive Officer David Place said that our paramedics and ambulance officers have a huge responsibility in keeping South Australians safe and the Service was constantly seeking ways to support them in that role.
"Some of our regional stations have been around for decades" Mr Place said. "Upgrades will ensure our hardworking staff are safe and provided with the operational tools required to do their job.
"New equipment will help our crews better and more quickly respond to critical medical emergencies.
"We know that patient survival increases significantly when a defibrillator is available, while new satellite radios will enhance communication and business continuity" confirmed Mr Place.
Hawker, Birdwood and Strathalbyn upgrades are scheduled for completion in 2020.
Additional infrastructure upgrades are also being looked at for Waikerie, Port Augusta, Gawler, Whyalla and Victor Harbor.
Lists of investments announced:
- Roxby Downs $900,000
- Birdwood $1.3 million
- Hawker $900,000
- Strathalbyn $2.3 million
- Meadows $383,000
- Goolwa $300,000
- Tailem Bend $202,000
- Coonalpyn $150,000
- Port Broughton $150,000
- Gladstone $150,000
- Lameroo $120,000
- Kapunda $100,000
- Wudinna $120,000
- Streaky Bay $85,000
- Marion Bay $80,000
- Eudunda $75,000
- Peterborough $70,000
- Clare $70,000
- Balaklava $50,000
- Crystal Brook $50,000