Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Memo to Aging Ontarians: This--Being Shafted by Ambulence Services Because You're Old--Is a Preview of Your Future

Everyday life in a socialized health care "utopia" : who needs "death panels" when, in a pinch, ambulance dispatchers will decide if you're "ambulance worthy" based on your advanced age?
An 87-year-old Toronto woman died in December after waiting three hours with abdominal pain for an ambulance that was delayed "due to limited resources," a CBC investigation reveals. 
An internal Toronto Emergency Medical Services ambulance dispatch record also shows a series of ambulances were at first dispatched to her location but then diverted to other calls. 
The incident highlights a growing challenge for Toronto and the rest of Canada, as an aging population puts more demand on emergency services, including ambulances, advocates for the elderly say...

1 comment:

Frances said...

Was the daughter on call for elderly Mum (now gone) and had reason to call 911 a few times, if only because couldn't get her to my car to head to hospital. Always had good service, even if it was - upon occasion - the local fire department who turned up. Tribute to whom tribute is due: the men (mostly) and women who came were really great. I remember when we called EMS after Mum had a stroke (she phoned our home and left a seriously wierd message which had us all heading her way) but didn't think she needed anything more than a good night's sleep. The EMS people diplomatically agreed with her but indicated that we - the family - rather thought she should head hospital-ward. Such was their diplomacy that Mum went willingly.

The story you relate is truly tragic. The big issue is why seven ambulances were diverted to 'more urgent' cases; someone needs to track said cases and see if errors were made in making priorities.