WELLINGTON, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Work is well underway towards double crewing all emergency road ambulances by 2021, with services in some regions on track to be double crewed in the coming months, New Zealand Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said on Monday.
"The double crewing of all emergency road ambulances will help ensure patients get the best available care when they need it," Coleman said in a statement, adding that it also enhances the safety and well-being of the country's dedicated ambulance staff.
The government is creating 375 new emergency medical and paramedic roles across the country over the next four years to ensure all emergency road ambulance call outs are double crewed by 2021, which will be particularly beneficial for regional and rural communities, Coleman said, adding that the government has invested 59.2 million NZ dollars (43 million U.S. dollars) over the next four years for this goal.
"To support road ambulances and to ensure that they are consistently double crewed when a helicopter also requires a paramedic on board, we are also recruiting more staff who can be deployed on helicopter services," he said.
An extra 21 million NZ dollars (15.2 million U.S. dollars) has been allocated through Vote Health to support air ambulance services, emergency road ambulance services and ambulance communications centers over the next four years, the minister said.