A young Sydney father has delivered a furious tirade directed at the NSW premier and the prime minister, claiming a lack of ambulances almost led to the death of his newborn son who was born prematurely.
Alex Moir wrote on Instagram that his son Ethan was born on January 2 at home “after a traumatic entry into the world”.
Mr Moir wrote that his wife Melanie, a midwife, went into labour on the bathroom floor of their home in what was “an agonising and traumatic birth”.
They were not expecting a home birth but were unable to get an ambulance immediately because “there were no ambulances available to dispatch and the wait time was unknown” because Omicron Covid cases had overwhelmed emergency services.
“When we called Triple-0 at 6am on Sunday morning after Ethan was unexpectedly born on our bathroom floor and wasn’t breathing or moving, we were told there were no ambulances available to dispatch and the wait time was unknown,” he wrote.
“I had to strap my wife, Melanie, into our car while she held onto our newborn, who was white as a ghost, and risk the drive to hospital ourselves, all the while she gave CPR to our boy.”
Luckily, Ethan was able to make it to The Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick where he was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit. He has since left the NICU and is now with his mum and dad.
In the emotional social media post, Mr Moir took aim at NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet claiming his son nearly died due to “incompetence” in health planning.
“You have had two years to bolster health services, to prepare for the worst and expect to be overwhelmed,” Mr Moir wrote.
“Two years to prepare before this child ever existed.”
Politicians accused of 'pretending' healthcare system is coping
The new dad claims he was told if they had waited for an ambulance Ethan would have died.
“I’m disappointed at myself that it took this experience to be exposed to how utterly cruel your incompetence is,” Mr Moir wrote.
“The hospital staff are the most inspiring individuals I’ve had the privilege of meeting, but everyday we overheard conversations about how they are overworked, under-staffed, and undersupplied; how they are forced to take sick leave unpaid, as well as having leave revoked; how everyday they cannot provide the care they want to and are on the verge of breakdown.
“Yet you pretend it’s coping.”
Mr Moir’s sister Emily also tweeted their story claiming: “any politician that says the health system is coping is a liar”.
A NSW Ambulance spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia the incident is under review and apologised to the Moir family for any distress.
"NSW Ambulance is looking into the circumstances surrounding this incident and a review is underway. We will inform the family of the outcome," the spokesperson said.
"The service is currently facing unprecedented demand, which reached a peak on 1 January 2022 when 5,120 Triple Zero (000) calls were received in our Control Centres.
"Currently the seven-day rolling average is nearly 4,500 Triple-0 calls every day."
Yahoo News Australia understands emergency dispatchers do not give ETAs for ambulances to callers.
Covid ties up emergency calls
NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan told reporters on New Year’s Eve the state's ambulance services had seen a 50 per cent increase in Triple-0 calls in the four weeks prior.
Mr Morgan said while the biggest cohort of patients are Covid-positive patients, not all calls were medical emergencies and that morning someone had called emergency services because they were still waiting on a PCR test.
"These tie up our emergency medical call takers and divert us away from the cardiac arrests, the chokings, the drownings," Mr Morgan said.
NSW Bureau of Health Information data released last month showed the median ambulance response time for emergency cases was 14.4 minutes in the September quarter, making it the slowest response time of any quarter since official records began in 2010.
This was during the Delta outbreak and with Omicron cases of Covid have soared to new heights in NSW.
The Australian Paramedics Association said while the result reflected the pressures of the Covid-19 Delta outbreak, it also showed a broader trend of worsening results.
APA NSW President Chris Kastelan says 1500 more paramedics are needed to bring NSW into line with ratios in other states.
"In the event of something like a cardiac arrest, we're failing to get to four out of six patients on time. And minutes really matter in these situations,” he said.
"For years, NSW Ambulance has chosen to prioritise tightening the purse strings, and we're left with a service running on staff fatigue instead of proper resourcing."
NSW Ambulance has been contacted for comment.
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