Islanders who have not already joined or renewed their annual ambulance subscription are being reminded they can now join the St John subscription scheme for 2021.
An island-wide postal drop is due to take place in the coming days and anyone who is not already a member of the scheme, but would like to join for the calendar year 2021, can do so online by logging on to subscription.stjohn.gg.
If you have already subscribed or pay by direct debit you do not need to take any action.
Ambulances in Guernsey are not free. St John provides the Emergency Ambulance Service on behalf of the States of Guernsey, through a contract with the Health & Social Care Committee. The contract only covers a proportion of the total costs. St John as a charity has to make up the remainder of the costs through the subscription scheme or charges. Anyone who isn’t a member of the 2021 subscription scheme and who doesn’t have adequate health insurance will be charged on average £380 for an emergency ambulance.
Renewal letters for existing members were sent out in December and around 8500 people are already signed up for 2021. Anyone with an existing direct debit will automatically be renewed and does not need to take any action.
Chief Financial Officer Stuart Brennan said: “The 2021 ambulance cover is great value for money at £36 for an individual, £85 for a family or £31 for a senior citizen. If for any reason you need an emergency ambulance and you don’t have cover, you can incur a charge of up to £380, so the one-off payment gives you peace of mind in the unfortunate event that you need our help.”
Mr Brennan added: “Since the launch of our new online payment system we have had terrific response. In addition to the existing subscribers who have automatically renewed for 2021, we have seen nearly 2000 people opt to use the new online system and around 3600 pay by cash or cheque.”
The subscription scheme entitles islanders to free emergency ambulance responses, assessment and medical treatment, up to 10 non-emergency ambulance transfers under the direct instruction of a Health Care Professional. There are no limits on the number of emergency ambulance responses a member can have and no age limit or restriction on pre-existing medical conditions. In addition if you are a Guernsey resident and a member of the Guernsey residents scheme you will be covered for the Flying Christine III marine ambulance.