Report snapshot: Ambulance services in regional New South Wales

About this report

NSW Ambulance delivers emergency and non emergency medical services and transport to patients in New South Wales, and connects patients who do not need an emergency medical response with the most appropriate health provider.

NSW Ambulance operates as part of a network of public health services. 

This audit assessed the efficiency and effectiveness of ambulance services in regional New South Wales


NSW Health is maintaining effective ambulance services in regional New South Wales, despite increasing demand. 

NSW Ambulance and the Ministry of Health use effective governance arrangements to monitor regional ambulance performance. NSW Ambulance and Local Health Districts (LHDs) communicate effectively to manage day-to-day operational challenges. However, the audit identified opportunities to improve the Ministry’s oversight of regional performance, and to enhance information sharing between NSW Ambulance and LHDs.

NSW Health is working to identify opportunities to reduce demand on the NSW Ambulance fleet and hospital emergency departments in regional New South Wales.

NSW Ambulance undertakes holistic service planning to efficiently deliver ambulance services in regional New South Wales.


The audit recommends that:

  • The Ministry of Health, eHealth and NSW Ambulance implement a new NSW Ambulance Electronic Medical Record system
  • The Ministry of Health and NSW Ambulance improve system oversight, monitoring and reporting of ambulance performance at the regional and metropolitan level
  • The Ministry of Health finalise its Transport for Health strategy and undertake a review of all non-emergency patient transport operators across the state
  • NSW Ambulance and LHDs improve strategic engagement with other NSW Health entities.

Fast facts

  • Approx 45% of NSW Ambulance's activity occurred in regional NSW in 2022–23
  • 353,369 NSW Ambulance transports in regional NSW in 2022–23
  • 8.65 minutes - the median ambulance response time for the highest priority incidents in regional NSW in 2022–23
  • 627,213 NSW Ambulance responses in regional NSW in 2022–23
  • 1 NSW Ambulance Service Agreement key performance indicator specific to regional NSW
  • 18% Increase in ambulance responses since October 2018

Further information

Please contact Claudia Migotto, Acting Deputy Auditor-General on 9275 7347 or by email.