Following Logan’s ambulance ramping crisis, the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) has launched a campaign urging people to save Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

A heavy focus of the campaign is on Covid and Influenza, due to a rising number of cases.

Figures released by the Queensland government show 38% of patients were ramped at Logan Hospital for more than 30 minutes during the first three months of this year.

Add long emergency waiting times, and it becomes evident that only emergencies should be taking the time of paramedics, first responders and emergency dispatchers.

These are the people who, in a bid to reduce long ramping and waiting times, have united in a video to “Save Triple Zero (000)”.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath said the campaign was designed to reduce the impacts of Covid restrictions, surges and demands on health services and health professionals over the last two years. 

“With Covid and the incoming flu season placing increased pressure on our hospitals and workforce, this campaign is a timely reminder to access the correct services in non-urgent circumstances,” she said.  

QAS director of patient safety and quality Tony Hucker said ambulances were for emergencies, and we would always prioritise those with critical illnesses or injuries.

“Others wanting to access our services for non-urgent incidents may be advised of other pathways to ensure they get the right care best suited for their circumstances,” he said. 

 “This might be calling 13 HEALTH, having to wait a little longer for our ambulance services while we treat those who are prioritised first, or accessing private transport if it is safe and appropriate to do so.” 

Mr Hucker said the message is essential, especially as high demands in services are expected to continue, especially as flu cases continue to soar.

 “It is more important than ever to make sure you’re getting your flu jab, maintaining your health and saving Triple Zero (000) for when you have those severe symptoms,” he said. 

“Many minor symptoms of the flu can be managed at home or with the help of a pharmacist, such as a sore throat or a runny nose.  

 “Some symptoms you should never ignore. Call an ambulance immediately if you have shortness of breath, severe headaches, confusion, fainting, chest pain or if you are coughing up blood.” 

You should call an ambulance if you have severe influenza symptoms, such as: shortness of breath at rest, rapid breathing or significant shortness of breath with minimal exertion, chest pain, confusion, sudden dizziness or fainting, persistent vomiting, you are an at-risk group and experiencing a serious illness.

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