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“Where’s the ambulance?” The terrifying impact of ambulance ramping

Gareth Parker
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Ambulance ramping in Perth has been at record levels this year, in October it reached a new all-time high, with patients waiting 3285 hours in ambulances before being admitted to emergency departments.

In September 3070 ramping hours were recorded at WA hospitals, which eclipsed the previous record of 2700 recorded in the 2019 flu season.

Ramping refers to the time patients are forced to wait in ambulances before being handed over to emergency departments.

St John WA CEO Michelle Fyfe told Gareth Parker ramping issues sometimes lead to delays in ambulances arriving at emergency situations.

“I think at times it could (put lives at risk), we haven’t experienced that up to this point,” she said.

“We do everything we can to get the most appropriate response to the patient as quickly as possible, but delays affect patient outcomes.”

6PR listeners Fatimah and Tony also shared there own frustrating experiences with ambulance services recently.

Fatimah, who’s husband later passed 15 kidney stones, was told an ambulance would take a long time and if she could drive him herself she should.

Tony who was fearing for his wife’s life, cancelled an ambulance after waiting nearly two hours.

You can hear Gareth’s interview with Michelle Fyfe and the stories from Tony and Fatimah below.

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Gareth Parker