Plan to boost ambulance workforce

The Whyalla Ambulance Station could be among several regional stations to receive refurbishments under the state government's Rural Ambulance Workforce Plan.

Consultation has begun for the new plan, which is part of the state government's $20 million Rural Health Workforce Strategy.

It sets out a strategy for building a skilled workforce with a continued focus on a number of key factors, including:

  • Volunteer workforce recruitment and retention
  • Introducing region-specific skills diversification
  • Increasing technological support across rural settings
  • Expanding pathways to provide multidisciplinary training opportunities.

SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) Chief Executive David Place said it was expected that Clare and other regional stations would benefit from station refurbishments.

"In country areas we rely largely on our hardworking volunteers. SAAS currently has 1554 volunteers working in regional areas," he said.

"Like any volunteer organisation in rural communities, we are always looking to increase volunteer numbers. When volunteers are not available in a particular town we cover it by moving other ambulance resources.

"The draft plan seeks feedback on the potential expansion of our paid Community Paramedic and Extended Care paramedic model in rural setting.

"It considers the introduction of co-crewed ambulance models, which could include volunteer/nurse or paramedic/allied health professional."

Health Minister Stephen Wade said consultation on the draft plan would run through February and March, with clinicians and key stakeholders coming together to provide valuable feedback.

"We recognise the increasing demand for ambulance services in regional areas, and this draft plan will ensure that people in more remote areas have access to the best possible emergency care when and where they need it," he said.

The final SAAS Rural Workforce Plan is expected to be released later this year.