Ambulance crisis

An SA Ambulance Service spokesperson insisted multiple resources were ready to respond at any given time.

Revelations that local paramedics believe the ambulance service is not up to standard are alarming.
The service plays such an important part in our health system it is stunning that successive governments have let it fall into crisis – despite knowing that an ageing population would continually increase ambulance calls.
Ramping at major hospitals has been a problem for years and it cannot be solved by adding more ambulances, which would only add to the line up of ramped vehicles.
Even our new state of the art multi-billion dollar Royal Adelaide Hospital has not been the pill the ambulance service needs, but that does not mean ramping can be allowed to continue.
A paramedic’s role is not to give hospital care to patients from the back of a stationary ambulance outside the emergency department.
Their role is to respond quickly to emergencies and transport patients to a bed from which they can receive hospital care.
It is encouraging that paramedics are so concerned for patient welfare that they have started industrial action, without even calling for a pay rise, but it is discouraging that the Health Minister continues to blame the paramedics’ union for delaying reform to a system which is clearly not working.
The issue is difficult to solve, but governments are paid to solve complex issues.
Unlike with the ramping crisis, there is a valid argument that more ambulances would alleviate pressure on our Hills services.
Even with the forecast growth of Mt Barker and the Mayo electorate’s tag of being one of the oldest demographics in Australia, there has been no increase in locally-based ambulances in a decade.
However, if Mt Barker had double the number of ambulances and both crews were required to take patients to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, it would only mean more ramping.
So it appears we need more services and the ramping issue to be solved before the Hills community will receive an emergency response which is up to standard.