Senior health and police officials will be stationed at Western Australia’s ambulance headquarters to ensure an appropriate response time amid the current rise in COVID-19 cases.
The move comes amid growing pressure on the service as more employees are laid off due to viral infections.
It also follows the death of an 80-year-old woman from Perth on Sunday who was suspected of having a heart attack.
Although the case was considered a priority, with a target response time of 15 minutes, more than two hours of ambulance arrived at her home.
Prime Minister Mark McGowan said the incident was unacceptable and required an immediate response.
“Without a doubt, the pressure to rest staff due to the pandemic can be challenging, but our ambulance service needs to adapt and be close to the community,” he said.
“My government is committed to doing everything in its power to support St. John in fulfilling his commitments and the expectations of the community.”
From Thursday, two senior health officers and two experienced WA police officers will assist St. John on the ground and provide immediate logistical support.
The government will also work with St. John’s Ambulance to eliminate pressure on staff due to COVID-19 infections.
Cases rose in the WA, reaching a daily peak of 17,033 on May 11 after rising for the first time above 10,000 on May 5.
16,253 new infections were recorded on Wednesday.
Regardless, Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said that if someone needs an ambulance in an emergency, she arrives.
“Our paramedics and triple zero call staff are doing a great job for our community and we want to give them all the support they need at this very difficult time,” she said.