'Enough is enough' - St John demanding Government funds vital ambulance service to keep it running

St John is demanding the Government come to its aid to keep the vital ambulance service running. 

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The charity is facing a multi-million-dollar deficit. Source: 1 NEWS

The charity is facing a multi-million dollar deficit, and is receiving mixed messages from the Government. 

St John say they have reached crisis point and have had enough. 

CEO Peter Bradley said it was "absolutely right the Government steps in right now and does the right thing for us...enough is enough, now is the time to sort it out". 

The Government currently funds 72 per cent of operating costs through the Ministry of Health and ACC. The other 28 per cent, about $65 million, comes from ambulance charges and fundraising.

Intensive care paramedic Niki Logan said they are not a "nice to have" service.

"We're an essential service ... we shouldn't have to be rattling buckets."

Health Minister David Clark said he was not unsympathetic to the calls from St John. 

"They do a great job, but there are a lot of calls on the health dollar."

Mr Bradley said that was not acceptable and they could not wait another two years for full funding. 

St John is currently facing a $10 million deficit and made a call in February to increase staff and ambulance numbers in Christchurch, proven crucial in the frontline response to the March 15 terrorist attack. 

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said the service was a "really critical and essential service around the country".

When asked if NZ First's view on full funding Mr Peters said, "Are we looking at it seriously? Yes we are."

"Do they deserve a better go? Yes they do, most definitely."