Allegation ambulance failed to arrive

AMBULANCE response times have again been called into question following a Longford man’s long and painful wait last Friday.

Jenny Osborne phoned 000 when her husband Michael severely crushed his hand between his car’s tow bar and a trailer about 11.45am last Friday.

She was assured an ambulance would be dispatched immediately, but after waiting 45 minutes without any sign of an ambulance, she once again tried the 000 number.

Mrs Osborne said the operator was unable to indicate when an ambulance was likely to arrive or where the ambulance had been dispatched from, so she drove her husband, who was in agony, to Sale hospital’s emergency department herself.

Mr Osborne was given pain relief in the emergency department and x-rays confirmed he would need surgery.

However, because there were no beds available in Sale he was sent home with pain killers and told to make his way to Dandenong Hospital where a surgeon would attend to him on Saturday morning.

Ambulance Victoria acting regional manager for Gippsland Grant Hocking said it was disappointing when the service took too long to reach someone who needed care.

“When someone calls us for help, we’d like to be able to send an ambulance immediately,” he said.

“Sometimes this just isn’t possible and we understand that it can be concerning for those waiting.

“Our systems identify the most serious cases and we send ambulances to the sickest patients first.”

´╗┐For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.