The victim of a suspected heart attack was reportedly made to wait six hours in the back of an ambulance before he could get a hospital bed.
Russell Chambers was rushed to hospital in Melbourne on Monday morning after struggling to breathe, Seven News reported.
It was his wife, 71-year-old Glenys, who made the call to 000 at 4am.
“He said, ‘look, I can’t breathe, I just can’t get a breath',” she recalled.
After arriving at Frankston Hospital, the pair were then forced to wait until 11am for a bed.
While paramedics remained with them for the duration, it meant they weren't able to respond to any other jobs.
Ambos ‘under the pump’
A furious Mrs Chambers says her anger is at the hold up of the ambulances.
“It shouldn’t be happening in this country,” she said.
“The staff are so under the pump and they are the ones that cop it.”
Amid an overwhelming number of new Covid cases, with more than 10,000 reported on Monday alone, Victoria has launched the third stage of its winter response plan.
This includes using private hospital beds for public patients, transporting infected patients to more local hospitals, and allowing up to 500 patients a day to access a video consultation from home.
Health systems in distress around the country
The incident outside Frankston Hospital came two months after two elderly people died on the same day while waiting for an ambulance in Perth.
On May 15, 80-year-old Georgina Wild had called for help at 2.30am, complaining of chest pains.
But by the time paramedics arrived, just before 5am, she had died from a suspected heart attack.
Just hours later, at 8.15am, a man in his 80s called 000 with abdominal pain.
By 10am he was experiencing severe chest pain, forcing St John Ambulance to upgrade his call to a Priority 1.
While the paramedics arrived only five minutes later, the man was by that time suffering a heart attack and died before arriving at hospital.
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