Funding has been made available by the ministry and expressions of interest from potential suppliers were first sought last month.
Currently there is only one new ambulance on the island (purchased in 2015) and two secondhand ambulances, with only one of those being operational as the second has been used for spare parts.
Acting health secretary Roana Mataitini says the age of the single operational secondhand ambulance has led to “growing maintenance concerns” and has also impacted on the ability to provide a comprehensive 24-hour service.
She added that there were also several other issues that highlighted the need for another ambulance.
“There has been an increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents involving both residents and tourists,” says Mataitini.
“There has also been an increasing number of calls to the ambulance service from residents suffering complications from NCDs (non-communicable diseases) that require immediate medical assistance, as well as a number of patients from remote and outer islands that require emergency transport services.”