Rural residents' perception about the coverage, cost and access of ambulance services

A. Prosser, J. Prosser, D. Playford

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Background While there are numerous studies investigating use and outcomes of the ambulance service, there are none looking at population attitudes and knowledge about the ambulance service. The aim of this study was to see if education is required for a sample population representative of rural Australia in regards to cost and coverage. Methods This study used a knowledge, attitude and practice survey voluntarily self-completed by a sample population recruited opportunistically from a number of health and public areas in the city of Geraldton, including the Emergency Department, a General Practise Clinic, a Physiotherapy Clinic and a Shopping Centre. Results: 229 surveys were completed and showed that 30.1% of the sample population had no coverage in that they were not a pensioner, had no private health insurance and did not posses St John country cover. Aboriginal people were more likely than non-Aboriginal people to be without cover. Although 96% of people believed that everyone should be covered, 56% of participants did not know who administers rural ambulance coverage and 59% did not know the average call out fee for a life threatening call. The majority did not consider costs when using an ambulance. Conclusion The results demonstrated considerable lack of knowledge about ambulance cover and suggested that public education about ambulance services would be beneficial. © 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalAustralasian Journal of Paramedicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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