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Ambulance Victoria warns of ‘extreme demand’, tells Melbourne patients to expect delays

Greater Melbourne residents have been warned to expect delays for ambulances as the system struggles with “extreme demand”.
Ambulance services in Greater Melbourne have recovered from a “code red” triggered by “extreme demand” overnight.

Metropolitan Victoria residents were warned to expect delays during the situation that lasted for about three and a half hours overnight.

Ambulance demand is busier than ever – the pandemic has seen a surge in triple-zero calls – from people who would not normally need it. (Nine)

“Ambulance Victoria is experiencing an extremely high demand for ambulances in the metropolitan region,” Ambulance Victoria said, not long after midnight on Wednesday.

“It is likely there will be a delay in an ambulance reaching you.”

Just after 3am, the service said the “code red” had been downgraded as “demand for ambulance services has eased”.

Just before Christmas, the Victorian Ambulance Union revealed mobile intensive care ambulances had been unable to attend several serious callouts because demand was outstripping supply.

Up to a third of Melbourne was left without specialist coverage at times, leaving regular paramedics to deal with complex situations, union secretary Danny Hill said.

The union said on multiple occasions, Mobile Intensive Care Ambulances have been unable to attend serious cases – because the demand is outstripping supply. (Nine)

“What we’re seeing is the resources are so thin, that our MICA paramedics, which should be reserved for the highest acuity cases – they’re just being sent to patients with back pain, intoxicated patients, patients who are vomiting,” he said.

“That’s not what they’re there for.

“A patient’s outcome will be poor if MICA paramedics don’t attend.”

Victorians were reminded to call NURSE ON CALL (1300 60 60 24) or visit their local GP for their less severe issues, saving triple zero calls for emergencies.

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