Community paramedic service at risk

It is possible that funding for the most vital provision of community paramedic services in Ceduna may be under threat due to budget pressures inherited by our new state government.

I am sure that the effort to contain the budget within reasonable means is a very difficult and often thankless task.

In this particular case the service which may be impacted is an extremely important initiative which is saving lives and proving to be a massive help to some of our vulnerable people.

When undertaking the pruning of the budget, it is crucial that the merits of any budget cuts consider just how much value the affected service is to the community involved.

Given that the service is a life saving one, very highly valued by our local service providers, it should be retained and not lost to our community.

The SA Health funding of $445,000 per annum which is currently supporting the Ceduna Community Paramedic (CP) Program is due to cease from September 30 and there are no alternative sources available for future funding.

The CP Program is a 24/7 service that is strongly supported by both local service providers and Ceduna community members.

The Community Paramedic service is filling a gap in the delivery of services in community settings and in connecting patients to other supports and services as needed.

Most significantly, through its strong focus on prevention and early intervention, this service has contributed to significant cost savings in other areas of health services.

The Community Paramedics have built strong trust relationships with Aboriginal community members that are playing a critical role in transforming their engagement in health care and the services system.

People residing in metropolitan areas are extremely well catered for compared to those in regional areas.

In this case Health Minister Stephen Wade should act to preserve this highly valued and important service provided to our local area in the best interests of our community members.

ALLAN SUTER

Ceduna District Council mayor