Funding boost for nation’s busiest ambulance service

Fraser Barton |

Health Minister Shannon Fentiman (left) says Queensland has the best ambulance response times.
Health Minister Shannon Fentiman (left) says Queensland has the best ambulance response times.

Australia’s busiest ambulance service will get more than 250 new staff after an injection of almost $130 million.

The Queensland government will deliver the funding as part of next week’s state budget.

“That’s more paramedics, more support staff, more ambos out there taking care of Queenslanders when they need it most,” Premier Steven Miles said on Tuesday.

Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said the $129.5 million investment to fund 268 new Queensland Ambulance Service positions would assist with unprecedented demand.

Queensland was rated the country’s busiest ambulance service after responding to 1,235,992 incidents in 202223 and transporting more than one million patients in the last financial year.

The service responded to almost 230 incidents for every 1000 people in the state, ahead of NSW on 129 incidents and Victoria on 157.

“We have the busiest ambulance service in the country yet we also have the best response times in the nation,” Ms Fentiman said.

Shannon Fentiman
Queensland Health Minister Shannon Fentiman has promised more ambulance paramedics in coming years. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

“We’re also the only state in mainland Australia that provides a free service.”

The government expected 188 of the new starters to be deployed across the state by the end of 2024.

Metro north and south will welcome the most recruits, while the north and far northern areas are also set to get more full-time equivalent staff.

The remaining 80 roles will be allocated to specialist positions to drive innovation, improving patient outcomes and demand management.

Ms Fentiman said the funding would ensure Queensland’s ambulance services responded quickly and kept staff in public healthcare.

“We have a very, very, very low attrition rate in the Queensland ambulance service,” she said.

“Last year we had an additional 200 paramedics, this year it’s 268.

“There’ll be many more joining them over the next few years and it is a great place to work and that is why we have very low attrition rates.”

AAP