Bendigo Advertiser
Saturday, 2 December 2023

Ambulance 'in crisis': Action promised after patient sent by taxi

By Lauren Henry
Updated November 7 2012 - 2:54am, first published September 22 2010 - 12:29pm

THE Victorian Coalition has described regional ambulances services as being in crisis, after a central Victorian man with a severed finger was forced to catch a taxi to a Melbourne hospital on Sunday due to ambulance unavailability. The injured man was stabilised at Maryborough Hospital in the late afternoon after cutting his finger off with a saw.Hospital staff stabilised the man before he was sent via taxi to St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne.In a written statement sent to the Bendigo Advertiser on Wednesday Maryborough District Health Service confirmed the cost of the trip, about $300, was paid for by the hospital.Ambulance Employees Australia state secretary Steve McGhie said the incident highlighted the need for more paramedic services in Maryborough.In May, Marlene Gouge of Maryborough waited almost an hour for an ambulance to treat her husband, who died from a heart attack.Coalition spokesman for health David Davis accused the state government of mismanaging the ambulance service, and said the Coalition would recruit an additional 340 ambulance staff and upgrade Maryborough ambulance station to 24 hour operation.“This will include 43 additional ambulance officers and six patient transport officers for the Loddon Mallee health region, which services Maryborough,’’ he said.A spokeswoman for Health Minister Daniel Andrews said the government was working with Ambulance Victoria to recruit and determine the location of the extra 234 paramedics announced in a $56 million package in July.“As part of the rollout, an additional 58 paramedics will be based in the Loddon Mallee region,’’ she said.“A further eight dedicated non-emergency patient transfer crews, staffed by 32 non-emergency transfer patient transport officers, are also being funded across Victoria, cutting down the number of non-emergency transports by paramedics by 10 per cent.’’

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