Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison is calling upon NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard to send life-saving CPR equipment to Maitland along with the ambulances required to service the city’s booming population.

Positive early indications from NSW Ambulance trials of an automatic CPR device, known as a Lucas Machine, have been welcomed by Mr Hazzard.

“My expectation is that the data will show these Lucas devices work extremely well,” Mr Hazzard told 9 News Sydney. “If that’s the case, then we have very good reason to be trying to put them into the majority of ambulances across the state.”

Ms Aitchison notes that the six Lucas Machines currently being trialled are all based in ambulances that serve the population of Sydney.

“The Government’s own statistics show that Maitland has a higher rate of circulatory disease hospitalisations than the rest of NSW,” Ms Aitchison said. “The Sydney LGA’s rate is substantially lower than the rest of the state.”

Lucas Machines, which deliver automatic chest compressions, can dramatically improve survival rates of people who suffer cardiac arrest.

But for this crucial equipment to reach those in need, an adequate and timely ambulance service is required.

“First of all, we need enough ambulances to service our growing population. Maitland still has just one road ambulance servicing our entire population of more than 81,000.

“Secondly, those ambulances need to be properly resourced and carrying the most up-to-date technology.”

Ms Aitchison called on the Health Minister to bring the ratio of ambulances serving the Maitland local government area in line with other Lower Hunter population centres as a priority.

“It’s time for the Minister to address the basic health needs of our community,” Ms Aitchison said. “Maitland lives matter too.”

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