Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

Australia presents two new ambulances to St John

Two new ambulances have been added to the St John Ambulance fleet to assist them to continue to provide reliable, safe, and efficient ambulance services to urban and rural communities.

Australian High Commission Minster Counsellor, Economics, Health and Infrastructure, Diane Barclay handed over the keys to St John Chief Executive Officer Matt Cannon at St John Headquarters in Port Moresby on Wednesday 27 July.

Official handover, Australian High Commission Minster Counsellor, Diane Barclay shaking hands with Acting Deputy Health Secretary (National Health Standards and Compliance), Dr Goa Tau as St John Chief Executive Officer, Matt Cannon looks on.

The ambulances were funded by the Australian Government as part of the Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership to boost St John’s capacity to address the high number of emergency responses in NCD, Central and Gulf provinces.

St John Ambulance is the only ambulance service in PNG. The ambulance service covers a population of nearly 5 million people and responds to over 12,000 emergency calls for help each year.

Ms Barclay said Australia is proud to contribute to St Johns work in PNG.

“People from rural communities across the country now call St John Ambulance directly to attend to emergency cases - this is a real demonstration of the growing understanding, awareness and confidence that the people of PNG have in the services that St John offers”

Acting Deputy Secretary, National Health Standards and Compliance, National Department of Health, Dr Goa Tau, said that St John was tasked by the national government to manage ambulance services and is providing significant support to hospitals, especially in emergency services.

“The ambulance services have contributed significantly to the early provision of treatment that is critical to supporting survival, while transporting patients to appropriate health services,” said Dr Tau.

St John Ambulance is a charity and statutory body that provides the nation’s primary emergency ambulance and emergency medical response service on behalf of the PNG Government.

Mr Cannon said, “to save lives, emergency ambulances must carry essential lifesaving equipment. These ambulances not only help transport patients, but also deliver emergency pre-hospital care. We expect each ambulance will help us reach a thousand patients every year.

“This support from the Australian Government is timely with the redevelopment of our new National Ambulance Call Centre that runs 24/7, answering to an increased number of calls to the 111-emergency line,” said Mr Cannon.

The two new ambulances will replace older ambulances and ensure St John can be reliable in responding to emergencies all day and night, and in all kinds of weather and terrain, to serve others and save lives.

The two new ambulances that will provide additional support to the ambulance services.

Ambulance services are free for all Papua New Guineans requiring emergency and life-saving care at public hospitals. Fees apply for visitors to Papua New Guinea, any person requesting transport to a private hospital, or for medically non-urgent transport to a public health facility.

 Australia is committed to supporting PNG by working closely with health and emergency organisations across PNG such as St John and with other partners through a range of initiatives.  

For further information, including access to related materials, please contact the Australian High Commission media team: +675 7090 0100