The focus of performance reporting in this chapter is on ambulance service organisations, which are the primary agencies involved in providing emergency medical care, pre-hospital and out-of-hospital care, and transport services.
Nationally in 2017-18:
there were 3.7 million incidents resulting in 4.6 million ambulance service responses to attend to 3.5 million patients
recurrent expenditure across Australia was approximately $3.6 billion (or $145 per person)
there were 17 883 full time equivalent paid personnel, 6654 volunteers and 3108 community first responders in ambulance service organisations. (Community first responders are trained volunteers that provide an emergency response (with no transport capacity) and first aid care before ambulance arrival.)
Ambulance services aim to promote health and reduce the adverse effects of emergency events on the community. Governments’ involvement in ambulance services is aimed at providing emergency medical care, pre-hospital and out-of-hospital care, and transport services that are:
accessible and timely
meet patients’ needs through delivery of appropriate health care
high quality — safe, co-ordinated and responsive health care
Governments aim for ambulance services to meet these objectives in an equitable and efficient manner.