We’ve been hearing of late about troubles and under-funding within the ambulance service. As far as I am concerned this is one public service that should be well funded and full of people who are happy with there employment conditions.
When I started work in the smart state (go on fire away) one of the first things I did was take out an ambulance membership. It was something like $60-$80 a year and along with supporting the ambulance service it meant if I was in a position that I would need an ambulance I wouldn’t be hit with a bill of something like $800. I upgraded to family membership when the time came and quite happily supported the scheme up until the decision was made that due to the lack of funding the state govt had to do something about it.
The decision was made that the fairest way to spread the cost of operating the ambulance service across the community was by adding $40 per year to everyone’s electricity bill. For me this worked out better, I’m not sure what happened with those that were privately insured.
When we relocated to the ACT, I was quite surprised to see that no option existed for ambulance membership. Our only option was to take out private health insurance or be prepared to cover the cost of an ambulance call if required. Now the ACT is in the same position as the smart state was a couple of years ago where the ambulance service is underfunded and staff are stressed. I would happily support either a membership system or additional levy to ensure the ambulance service is well funded.