AMBULANCE Victoria’s referral service, which currently operates in metropolitan Melbourne and the Barwon South West region, will be expanded into the Loddon Mallee region from early next year.
Health Minister David Davis said yesterday that appropriate triple zero calls would be transferred to paramedics and nurses trained in telephone triage.
Patients whose conditions indicated an emergency ambulance may not be necessary would be referred to alternative care options that better match their health needs, including locum doctors and nursing services.
“This frees up paramedics to be available for serious emergencies," Mr Davis said. "However, if an emergency ambulance is required, it will be sent.
“Referral service paramedics and nurses are experts in telephone triage and identifying the most appropriate health care response for patients.
"The service currently reduces emergency ambulance attendances in metropolitan areas by 100 per day.”