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  Reply # 1046411 16-May-2014 16:45
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itxtme:
nickb800: I've always figured that if it is a borderline case, then call 111 anyway, tell the dispatcher what is going on and they'll decide if an ambulance is necessary


Dispatchers are not at liberty to decide whether to send an ambulance.  If you meet a specific criteria then they can push the call through to Healthline.  There is also the possibility that the case will be viewed by the medic in coms and they do have the ability to decide to cancel jobs (this is a trial program).  I would suggest if you are unsure then to call healthline, they can and do transfer jobs they deem emergencies, and you get the benefit of a clinical registered nurse versus a computer triaging system.


The problem I've always found with Healthline (both in Australia and NZ) is that they pretty much always end up with 'go to a 24/7 clinic/A&E'.  An alternative, and I only found out about this the other week looking at the front window of my GP's, is that if your GP is with Procare after hours they now redirect their phone lines to triage nurses that may or may not have some access to your patient information (the info is very vague, what is listed is http://www.procare.co.nz/getdoc/8942b292-6f48-4da6-85ef-3b02db01f89e/After-hours-Care.aspx), sounds better than Healthline if your GP is with Procare though, because at least your GP will be aware of the call/any follow-up required in the future (hence the ponder that they have some access to records).

Other thing to consider, and bringing it off the health specific portion of 111, if you have a police/health/fire concern that isn't URGENT but needs reporting, then you can avoid overloading 111 by calling the appropriate communications centre direct (for police, off loading roading issues to *555 or general nuisence complaints to the local district station, Fire Service also publish their regional Fire-com numbers for low-priority calls on their website http://www.fire.org.nz/Pages/Contact.aspx, St John don't seem to).



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  Reply # 1046416 16-May-2014 16:53
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ajobbins:
BTR: A standard ambulance fee is $80 which is probably close to the price of a taxi although unless the taxi driver is a dealer your not going to get any pain relief from them.


Wow that's cheap. Here in Melbourne (If you don't have either private health insurance that covers it or pay an annual subscription) the cost is $1,015.17 if you are urban. If you are rural it's $1,011.41 + $1.19 per Km traveled or $12.25 per minutes waited.


Surely you can't be suggesting that not everything is better in Australia? Say it ain't so!

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1046418 16-May-2014 16:58
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networkn:
ajobbins:
BTR: A standard ambulance fee is $80 which is probably close to the price of a taxi although unless the taxi driver is a dealer your not going to get any pain relief from them.


Wow that's cheap. Here in Melbourne (If you don't have either private health insurance that covers it or pay an annual subscription) the cost is $1,015.17 if you are urban. If you are rural it's $1,011.41 + $1.19 per Km traveled or $12.25 per minutes waited.


Surely you can't be suggesting that not everything is better in Australia? Say it ain't so!


Haha.. I, for one, miss Wellington Free Ambulance!


(And totally OT, our internet is scheiße. Then look at the budget)

gzt

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  Reply # 1046455 16-May-2014 18:19
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networkn: Hi There!

As the unlucky recipient of Kidney Stones earlier this week which happened at 4am, we were faced with an interesting problem. Who to call to get me to the hospital. I felt fairly sure it was kidney stones (my wife is a GP) and knew even though the pain was excruciating, my life wasn't in peril.

As I understand it in some circumstances can lead to renal failure or other severe complications , so not a good idea to ignore it and the closer you can get to a hospital as soon as you can the better. But I will defer to your wife's professional judgement on that one : ).

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  Reply # 1046456 16-May-2014 18:25
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My mum had kidney stones.
She was working.
Doctor was an idiot and said she had some kind of virus. It went for ages and ages, in the end she went to a new doc who told her to go to the hospital immediately as it was stones.
She went home.  Passed them several days later.

Now that's what I call high pain tolerance.

She broke the side of her foot once too - went to work as it was "just a sprain". Stood for 4 hours, then chickened out and asked for a chair for the next 5=4 hours.
2 weeks later she wnt to the doc who said it was healing wrong and rebroke it - without warning or anesthetic.

My mum, superwoman.

 I now pay for her yearly ambulance subscription. Haven't got her to use it yet...but here's hoping.

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  Reply # 1046484 16-May-2014 18:43
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All emergency services have a phone number for non urgent matters 
i.e. the cops have their local police station numbers and afterhours you get the central station for that area, St John has an 0800 number for non urgent matters and their ambulances operate 24hours. 
The Fire service are somewhat more elusive and do not really publish their non urgent numbers but I guess if your cat is stuck up the tree then you dont usually call 111 unless it is a fire etc. 

For your case and as others have said…. your call if you want to pay the ambulance fee or the cab driver (depending on distance). 


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  Reply # 1046499 16-May-2014 19:05
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Goosey: All emergency services have a phone number for non urgent matters 
i.e. the cops have their local police station numbers and afterhours you get the central station for that area, St John has an 0800 number for non urgent matters and their ambulances operate 24hours.

St John, as I understand it, don't offer 100% nationwide coverage, Wellington notably (open to correction) as that is provided via an alternative service.  The actual wording in regards to the 0800 number on St John's site is "If you want to call St John with a general enquiry call 0800 STJOHN (0800 78 5646)." no indication of it going to any of the contact centres that handle 111 calls.  Hence my original wording of 'St John don't seem to [publish a non-priority number]' as I don't want to mislead anyone that may refer remember advice here in a "is it an emergency, is it not?" situation.
The Fire service are somewhat more elusive and do not really publish their non urgent numbers but I guess if your cat is stuck up the tree then you dont usually call 111 unless it is a fire etc.


Not at all, if you read my post (first on page 2):

Fire Service also publish their regional Fire-com numbers for low-priority calls on their website {+ link}


Fire-com = The 3 regional call centres that handle dispatch for the various fire regions, just 111-origined called get bounced through quicker.

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  Reply # 1046545 16-May-2014 19:56
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$1k upwards for ambulance? wow!

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  Reply # 1046673 16-May-2014 21:21
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joker97: $1k upwards for ambulance? wow!


I managed a solid accident at a remote West Qld site.
After ambulance, air ambulance commercial charter flight evac I figured the bill was going to hurt as much as the injury.
Luckily, the previous company I'd worked for in Nth Qld had insisted on their contractors having QATB-QAS membership, mine was still valid.. and took all the zeros off the bill.. Always have an ambulance membership now..

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  Reply # 1046697 16-May-2014 21:51
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I too suffer with kidney stones. Before they were diagnosed (I'd been having pains on and off for about 20 years and nobody made a connection), I had a bad episode, excruciating pain that presented in one of the boys (you know what I'm saying). By this point I was writhing on the bed half naked and I got the wife to call an ambulance - no questions. The only downside to this was the all female ambulance crew that turned up, but by this point I didn't care.

Now I know what the problem is I can preempt the pain and take something or head off to A&E in a taxi if I know it's not working. It's quite strange when you say kidney stones to the receptionist at the hospital and they take you straight through for the proper drugs without having to wait.

So to answer your question, if the pain is debilitating then an ambulance is justified in my opinion. You don't want to drive, and it's the last place you want to take kids.

Oh and +1 for Wellington free ambulance. Coming from England it's just wrong that you have to pay. You don't pay for A&E yet in my opinion it's an extension of the same thing!




Procrastination eventually pays off.

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  Reply # 1046754 16-May-2014 23:15
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networkn: Hi There!

As the unlucky recipient of Kidney Stones earlier this week which happened at 4am, we were faced with an interesting problem. Who to call to get me to the hospital. I felt fairly sure it was kidney stones (my wife is a GP) and knew even though the pain was excruciating, my life wasn't in peril. I definitely wasn't safe to drive, though and my wife wasn't able to drive me (2 very young children). In the end I called Alert Taxi's (Big shout out for some of the most impressive service I've gotten). Alert got me there faster than an ambulance I think, but it led me to wonder if I would have been ok to call 111.

The plus side of an Ambulance would have been the morphine would have got on board somewhat earlier.



I would have thought a GP would know the answer to this question...!





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  Reply # 1046755 16-May-2014 23:17
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StarBlazer: I too suffer with kidney stones. Before they were diagnosed (I'd been having pains on and off for about 20 years and nobody made a connection), I had a bad episode, excruciating pain that presented in one of the boys (you know what I'm saying). By this point I was writhing on the bed half naked and I got the wife to call an ambulance - no questions. The only downside to this was the all female ambulance crew that turned up, but by this point I didn't care.

Now I know what the problem is I can preempt the pain and take something or head off to A&E in a taxi if I know it's not working. It's quite strange when you say kidney stones to the receptionist at the hospital and they take you straight through for the proper drugs without having to wait.

So to answer your question, if the pain is debilitating then an ambulance is justified in my opinion. You don't want to drive, and it's the last place you want to take kids.

Oh and +1 for Wellington free ambulance. Coming from England it's just wrong that you have to pay. You don't pay for A&E yet in my opinion it's an extension of the same thing!


I'll plus one you on WFA who saved my life (or at least contributed to it) and I'll plus a hundred the truly bizarre world in which ambulance services are paid for by charity whilst plastic wakas and rugby competitions get taxpayer funding....





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  Reply # 1047021 17-May-2014 15:21
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Geektastic: 

I'll plus one you on WFA who saved my life (or at least contributed to it) and I'll plus a hundred the truly bizarre world in which ambulance services are paid for by charity whilst plastic wakas and rugby competitions get taxpayer funding....


Charity, and threats.  If you end up getting a St John ambulance, they are the most aggressive organisation I've ever seen about demanding you pay their invoice within two weeks or by damn they will Baycorp you.  In fact their attitude is so bad that last time I got one I was tempted to not pay it, and dispute the invoice once they sent it to collections on the basis that the law does not permit you to invoice someone for services they (or someone with signed power of attorney) did not explicitly request (making their invoice an illegal contract).

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  Reply # 1047045 17-May-2014 15:44
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Kyanar: Charity, and threats.  If you end up getting a St John ambulance, they are the most aggressive organisation I've ever seen about demanding you pay their invoice within two weeks or by damn they will Baycorp you.


Yep. St John EMTs/Paramedics are great, but their management/corporate are bad, as are their call centres.

There was a major car accident recently here in Hamilton where the car (drunk driver) bounced off a power pole and into a tree, pinning the passenger in the car with her legs crushed and pulse fading very quickly. Police and Fire got there within 5 minutes, asked for an ETA for Ambulance, they were told it'd be there in 45 minutes from Morrinsville, and noone within St John with sufficient authority to permit the Helicopter to be used was available. A police Inspector happened to be present and was not happy with that response, so sent a cop to the hospital where they found 2 Ambulances sitting outside the ED just doing a bit of cleaning and restocking. The Ambulance officers there were fairly horrified that their dispatch hadn't contacted them to see if they were free for a very high priority job, and rushed to the scene.

Lady ended up dying, St John did an internal investigation where their decision was basically "nothing is wrong, maybe we could've sent the Ambulance from Cambridge that would've been there 5 minutes sooner." They completely ignored the fact that there were Ambulances 5 minutes away who weren't really free yet (they don't clear themselves from jobs in the system until they've done their cleaning, restocking etc.) but could have come free if asked. Too much reliance on CAD, not enough common sense by the dispatchers.

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  Reply # 1047062 17-May-2014 16:05
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Kyanar: and dispute the invoice once they sent it to collections on the basis that the law does not permit you to invoice someone for services they (or someone with signed power of attorney) did not explicitly request (making their invoice an illegal contract).
err, when you call 111 you would have requested an ambulance otherwise it's a given that when you call 111 for a medical emergency you're requesting their service.

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