Belmont, Perth,

New era for St John Ambulance

St John Ambulance Western Australia (St John) will expand its investment in ambulance and first aid services, by the delivery of a new primary health care service for the Western Australian community.

Leveraging 130 years’ experience in the delivery of humanitarian and ambulance services in WA, St John will now offer patients a bulk-billed alternate pathway to urgent care that is safe, timely and high quality.

To deliver this new primary health care service, St John has purchased Apollo Health, which operates four primary health clinics across the metro area in Cockburn, Joondalup, Armadale and Cannington. From July, St John will operate three of these clinics, Cockburn, Joondalup and Armadale, as Urgent Care Centres, with all accepting unscheduled care patients.

Urgent Care Centres means patients not requiring emergency services can be seen by a doctor and receive the most appropriate care - without the need to attend an emergency department – and receive safe, timely and high quality care.

St John Chief Executive Officer Tony Ahern said the organisation’s significant investment in these centres allowed St John to continue its delivery of effective, efficient ambulance services now and well into the future.

“As the leading provider of ambulance services and the gateway to the health system for unscheduled care, St John has recognised the challenges facing our health care system as our population grows and our ability to fund, and provide the health services needed is becoming more difficult,” Mr Ahern said.

“St John believes that facilitating and investing in alternate care pathways for unscheduled care is the best way to address these challenges and continue to deliver the most appropriate health service outcomes for people in need.”

Mr Ahern said Urgent Care Centres are seen as best practice globally and have been effective in ensuring the best possible outcomes are achieved for patients from the time of an incident, to provision of definitive care.

“Urgent Care Centres globally have been successful in achieving a number of positive outcomes such as reducing stress on emergency departments, reducing ambulance ramping and delivering the most appropriate care to the community,” Mr Ahern said.

To facilitate its move into primary health care, St John has purchased Apollo Health and will operate the Urgent Care Centres from these centres.