Emergency departments across Melbourne have reached capacity and ambulances have been upgraded as state services have again been reduced overnight.
Dozens of Victorians were left waiting for an ambulance Tuesday night, with an orange code again declared for the system.
Emergency departments across Melbourne were full and 39 apparent ambulances escalated into chaos.
Victorian Ambulance Union secretary Danny Hill said the staff shortages and chronic impacts of the pandemic are partly to blame.
“A lot of these cases are what we call deferred care… before the pandemic you might have seen a doctor once a month for a chronic health condition, but during the pandemic many of those people withdrew to those appointments and of course they are entering. in a situation where they call triple 0, “he told 3AW.
Up to 70 patient calls were left unattended at one point.
Orange or red code warnings mean that anyone in need of non-emergency care should contact nursing services or find alternative transportation to the hospital.
Mr. Hill said the service was kept to a minimum and was based on the overwork of the staff.
“Burnout is high in our staff. They’re just completely fried and Ambulance Victoria relies so much on people working overtime to help bolster service, “she said.
A spokesperson for the Victoria ambulance said the high demand was amplified by the shortage of staff.
“The health system remains under pressure from the Covid-19 pandemic, including a high number of staff required for leave and a sustained increase in demand,” said a statement.
“Victoria Ambulance and Metropolitan Hospitals experienced high demand overnight and handled demand through our agreed escalation processes.
“In an emergency, you should always call triple 0. However, for less urgent cases, people are encouraged to visit their GP, speak to a pharmacist or call the nurse on call.”
The latest troubles come after a year of horror for Victoria’s ambulance service.
In January, a red code was declared for the second time in a week as services stretched desperately across the city.
More than 500 Ambulance Victoria employees were laid off at that time, with SES and Lifesaving Victoria used to help keep up with demand.
Originally published as Orange code declared for Victoria ambulance as the system struggles