Emergency Tasmania ambulance misuse

06 Juin, 2017, 10:09 | Author: Cyril Hebras
  • Paramedics are angry and struggling to reach everyone

However, Mr Kirby also detailed instances when triple-0 has been called for ailments including a head cold, toothache, request for medication delivery, and even an itchy eye.

Mr Ferguson told the hearing in some areas of the state, nearly half of ambulance callouts were for "unexpected primary care" rather than acute.

"Recent calls included one patient on Bruny Island who realised they'd run out of medication on Christmas Eve, and the patient requested from the island that ambulance paramedics visit the pharmacy and collect their medications and put the ambulance on the ferry to deliver them", Mr Ferguson said.

"We can respond more effectively if we aren't busy dealing with people who are not in need of emergency medical care".

Tasmanians are calling the ambulance for all the wrong reasons, a new government report has revealed.

Ambulance Tasmania chief executive Neil Kirby said it was imperative the public understood ambulances should only be called for genuine emergency medical treatment.

The review called for more ambulance vehicles and staff across the state, particularly in Hobart and Launceston.

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'We even had a person call 000 because their dog was sick, and they wanted an ambulance to come and assess it, 'Kirby told the ABC.

"A person in Mowbray called Triple 0 due to a cut finger they described as bleeding uncontrollably. When paramedics arrived the only treatment required was for a Band-Aid to be applied".

"For example, a person in Scottsdale called 000 wanting an ambulance because they had a blocked nose and a headache due to a cold", he said.

"While some of these people are assessed or treated by paramedics at the scene, the fact is many people do not need an ambulance at all", he said.

The report recommends a range of initiatives, including moving to secondary triage - where the triple-0 call centre can direct non-acute patients to other providers, such as those offering primary care; better use of extended care paramedics and intensive care paramedics; patient management plans for frequent users of ambulance services and further collaboration between Ambulance Tasmania, the Tasmanian Health Service and private emergency departments.

"Triple-zero is not a medical advice line".


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