If there is a shortage of ambulances, lets get more ambulances, not less patients.
I heard a shocking radio news story today, advising the elderly to think twice before calling an ambulance, as many cases were not truly urgent.
This really makes my blood first chill, then boil.
This is ageist.
To suggest to older people, who worry more than anyone about everything – and hate to ask for anything for a range of reasons (not the least of which is admitting they’re ageing) that they should maybe give dialing 000 a miss, is almost criminal.
These poor folk didn’t stick needles in their arms, or marching powder up their noses, or fall off balconies, or get so drunk they’ve poisoned themselves.
They’re just elderly, pharmaceutically and medically complex, in trouble and often in the care of panic stricken loved ones, or worse still, alone.
And let’s look at those ageing demographics once again … there aren’t going to be fewer old people to look after in the future, are there?
This from today’s AGE Newspaper
“VICTORIA’S ambulance service is swamped with an increasing number of elderly people and the trend is expected to get worse, researchers say.
A study published in the Medical Journal of Australia found that the number of ambulance trips involving people aged 85 and over increased 75 per cent between 1994-95 and 2007-08 – an increase beyond that expected with population growth and shifting demographics.
Modelling suggested demand from the group would continue to accelerate, too, from 474 per 1000 people requiring an ambulance in 2007-08 to about 800 per 1000 in 2015, a further 69 per cent increase over seven years.
The Monash University researchers said there was no particular ailment responsible for the increase with the most common calls being for falls, chest pain, breathing problems and light-headedness. They said other factors may be driving the rise, though, including reduced capacity among younger people to care for older relatives, a growing proportion of older people living alone and limited access to primary health-care services such as GPs.”
Yeah, maybe we might want to do something about that…