Forum: 995 operator said all ambulances out covering Covid-19 cases

I was placed in the unfortunate position of having to call 995 after my father collapsed in the toilet on Sept 29.

I was shocked when the call operator told me that all ambulances had been deployed because of Covid-19 cases and there would be a 30- to 40-minute wait for an ambulance to reach us.

The ambulance eventually took 30 minutes to arrive, even though it was a weekday afternoon with little traffic and my home is a five-minute drive to the nearest restructured hospital, which the ambulance took him to.

I understand that we are in the middle of a pandemic, but I find it strange to be told at the time I called that all ambulances had been deployed and capacity was strained because of Covid-19.

Every second counts for patients who have suffered an emergency condition like cardiac arrest, stroke or a traffic accident, while the outcome is unlikely to be much different for a suspected Covid-19 case if he is taken to the hospital an hour later.

Is this the most effective way to triage? Are we inadvertently prioritising some lives over others in how we are handling this pandemic?

Tan Kexin

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