20 April 2023
The Greens are calling for the State Government to fund free paramedic services for those receiving a full age pension to ease cost of living pressures for older South Australians.
The cost of an emergency call-out and trip to hospital in South Australia is currently $1,085, plus $6.20 per kilometre travelled (https://saambulance.sa.gov.au/what-we-do/fees-and-charges/).
“Older South Australians are key users of ambulance services, but call-out fees are a significant barrier to access — especially when many are already reluctant to call an ambulance given the record instances of ramping”, said Greens SA Health Spokesperson Robert Simms MLC.
“Those living on the age pension are already dealing with the cost-of-living crisis, including soaring energy prices, grocery costs, and rent hikes. They should not be slugged with even more costs simply for calling an ambulance.”
“While those living on the age pension currently receive some form of concession for ambulance call-out fees, it’s time for the government to scrap the fees entirely for this group in the next state budget.”
The Council on the Ageing SA has called for free paramedic services for those receiving a full aged pension as part of their submission to the upcoming state budget.