When you have a minor health issue, there is a team of healthcare professionals to seek advice from – and ambulances should be saved for emergencies.
That’s the message in a new advertising campaign hitting TV screens across the state, as Ambulance Victoria teams up with other health professionals to help people better understand who to contact when their situation is less urgent.
The campaign encourages people with minor health issues and injuries to visit their local doctor, speak with their pharmacist about general health questions or phone Nurse-on-Call on 1300 60 60 24 for immediate advice.
Ambulance Victoria CEO, Associate Professor Tony Walker, says that when it comes to an emergency, time is absolutely critical to a patient’s outcome.
“Through this campaign we are working with the community to help people understand when to call an ambulance.
“If it’s not an emergency, we’re simply asking people to take a moment and think about their options, because it could save someone else’s life.
“When paramedics respond to calls for assistance with less urgent issues like a twisted ankle, cut finger or toothache, it means they’re not available for genuine emergencies, such as severe bleeding, a serious accident or difficulty breathing.”
The campaign continues on from the story of young ambulance patient Will, shared by intensive care flight paramedic Darren Hodge in a TV ad last year. Will’s life was saved because paramedics weren’t tied up with non-emergencies and were able to attend to him immediately.
This time, Darren is joined by members of ‘the team’ available to assist with a range of non-urgent medical concerns.
“We want to help people identify options other than calling Triple Zero (000) for concerns that could be better assisted by another healthcare provider,” Associate Professor Walker said.
“We’ve been working closely with the Victorian Government to make changes that provide the best possible care to every patient who calls us, while ensuring ambulances are prioritised for emergencies.
“Importantly we also want people to know that if in doubt, always call Triple Zero (000).
“We’ll assess the situation and if it turns out to be less urgent, the call will be transferred to our team of experienced paramedic and nursing staff who will match the right services to the patient’s needs.”
Last year, Ambulance Victoria connected more than 102,000 Triple Zero (000) callers with another health service or provided self-treatment advice, instead of sending an ambulance, after their needs were identified as non-urgent.
Save 000 for Emergencies will appear on TV, radio, outdoor and online over the next two months. Read more about the campaign here.