Emergency workload rising for rural GPs as fatigue rules keep ambo crews away

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Emergency workload rising for rural GPs as fatigue rules keep ambo crews away

ambulance
GPs fear the St John hours’ restriction puts rural communities at risk

Key points 

  • St John Ambulance Service has introduced a new fatigue policy, restricting the number of hours in addition to their day jobs that volunteer crew can work. 
  • Less crew availability leaves primary care emergency workers having to turn out to non-life-threatening callouts. 
  • GPs say rural communities are at risk, and want St John personnel to do their own fatigue assessments. 
New rules for rural ambulance crews, meant to safeguard St John patients and staff, are putting other PRIME workers at risk, say two South Island GPs., Chris Henry, Kaikōura Healthcare GP Chris Henry says in Kaikōura there are many nights where no crew is available