Ambulance services call for more Government funding for proactive approach to health

Ambulance services are calling for more funding from the Government as they try to change the way they work to a more proactive approach to health.

Paramedics are now increasingly treating people in their homes and communities and are partnering with other health services to do it. 

St John chief executive Peter Bradley says up until 10 to 15 years ago, paramedics took 90 per cent of the patients they attended to hospital, but now that's down to around 65 per cent.

"So we see a massive change in both the quality and qualifications of our people to make sure patients get the right treatment at the right time at the right place," Mr Badley told 1 NEWS.

That work sees St John paramedics training marae around the country to use defibrillators. 

They're also referring people to quit smoking programs and providing blankets, sleeping bags and pajamas to many people in damp homes. 

St John is a charity but says it could do with more official support. 

"The public are fantastically generous to us. We really appreciate the support we get, but we believe going forward we need to see greater support from the government in terms of funding," he said.

Ambulance officers are looking to prove they can be more than just the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

Paramedics say they'd rather be the ambulance at the top of the cliff than the bottom. Source: 1 NEWS