OPINION: Is it time for change?
The Fiordland St John Ambulance subscription scheme was managed locally until last year.
It had operated successfully and profitably ever since it was started for the benefit of the Fiordland community and ambulance service.
Now that there is no longer a democratically elected Fiordland St John Ambulance Area Committee to run the scheme, it has been taken over by St John, which will see subscription fees rise from October 2014 increasing by a minimum 50 per cent and up to 80 per cent if you are a single superannuitant.
Does a nationally run, one-size- fits-all St John Ambulance subscription scheme best meet the needs of the Fiordland community?
The Fiordland Community Health Shuttle is operating successfully without any involvement or interference from St John.
Would the establishment of a new type of community subscription scheme that was managed locally be a better idea?
This could be run by a community service club where income would be used to pay subscribers ambulance accounts, assist with the running of the health shuttle and help further the clubs community work.
Perhaps a scheme like this could work in other areas as well and we might see the ethos of community and charitable return to the ambulance service, rather than the corporate greed that exists now.