St John WA establishes $12.5M program for community support

Press Release
  • St John WA has established a new program to deliver community support to Western Australians,
  • The $12.5 million Community Support Program delivers for regional communities, vulnerable patients, volunteers and staff as demand for health care increases in Western Australia,
  • It accompanies a mirrored fund established to protect St John WA’s people and operations in the event future spread of COVID-19 puts jobs at risk.

St John WA establishes a new $12.5 million fund delivering community support to Western Australians to ensure Western Australians continue to have access to health care when they needed it most.

The fund includes:

  • $2.25 million: Waiving a planned Q1 CPI increase to the cost of ambulance transport to support the Western Australian community and reducing the remaining increases for FY21-22,
  • $6 million: Establishing a dedicated Hardship Fund to support vulnerable patients, ensuring access to ambulance services without the anxiety of a significant debt being incurred,
  • $3.25m: A new Regional Development Fund for equipment and capital works for regional and remote St John WA volunteer sub-centres,
  • $1m: A scheme to acknowledge the time and effort volunteers and staff invested in accessing a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of their position with St John WA.

An additional $12.5 million Preparedness Fund mirrors the community commitment to support the organisation in navigating ongoing pandemic uncertainty.

Ms Fyfe said the funds had been segregated and identified as part of the FY20-21 Financial Report.

“JobKeeper funding received early in the Financial Year allowed us to segregate some of our resources to community support initiatives,” Ms Fyfe said.

“St John WA recorded a 75 per cent reduction in revenue for First Aid and Event Health Services. We experienced a 20 per cent decline in Patient Transfer and a 16 per cent drop in Ambulance cases, rendering the organisation eligible for the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program.

Ms Fyfe said thanks to the contemporary funding model agreed under the Deed of Variation with the Department of Health, signed in September 2020, St John WA had bolstered frontline ambulance services.

“The model moved from block-funding to an activity-based funding arrangement which aligned with a recommendation from the Auditor General for the Department of Health and St John WA to work on a more contemporary funding arrangement,” Ms Fyfe said.

Ms Fyfe said the agreement had facilitated:

  • Recruitment of 199 paramedics from April 2020 to October this year through expansion of the organisation’s Direct Entry program,
  • Two additional Hospital Liaison Managers who work with hospitals to address Extended Transfer of Care (ETOC),
  • Establishment of a Secondary Triage Team in the State Operations Centre which works to deliver alternative care pathways for patients when appropriate,
  • Additional non-emergency call-takers in the State Operations Centre to add capacity and free-up Triple Zero (000) call takers.

Visit St John WA’s Impact and Annual Report for more details.

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