CALLING an ambulance to avoid sitting in the emergency department waiting room at Orange Health Service has become habit for some residents.
Residents abusing the service are calling Triple Zero (OOO) for issues such as a cold, stubbed toe, and a headache.
Ambulance Service of NSW Orange acting station officer Carl Bevan estimated there had been at least 100 calls to Triple-Zero (OOO) since the beginning of December.
“Time spent on those calls means someone else could be requiring urgent medical attention,” he said.
Mr Bevan said it was a popular misconception that arriving at the hospital in an ambulance enabled patients to avoid sitting in the waiting room.
“That simply isn’t the case,” he said.
“People who don’t require urgent medical attention will simply be shown out to the waiting room.
“Which means we are still being used as a taxi service.”
“I also feel sorry for the triage staff who have to put up with all kinds of abuse from people because they think they’re not being treated quickly enough.”
Mr Bevan said, under ambulance service guidelines, once a triple-Zero (OOO) call is received an ambulance must be despatched.
“It is a bit rough when you get a call that someone can’t walk and then we arrive at the house to be greeted at the door by them,” he said.
However, Mr Bevan said anyone with a serious medical condition should immediately call Triple Zero (OOO).
“If you have chest pain for example you should call immediately,” he said.