Health | May 10, 2017

Kealy commends self-treating ambo

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP commends Casterton Paramedic David Watson for his quick response to his own heart attack while on duty, driving himself in an ambulance to the nearby emergency department.

On Sunday, Casterton paramedic David Watson experienced chest pain and applied a heart monitor to himself. Realising he was in cardiac arrest, David alerted colleagues and drove his own ambulance to the nearby hospital.

David had to wait a further 20 minutes before more paramedics arrived and were able to take over, 5 minutes longer than the State benchmark of 15 minutes.

“This amazing story is an example of the fantastic skills and commitment to duty our country paramedics have,” Ms Kealy said.

"It's such a shame that Labor continually fail to provide these brilliant health professionals with the support they need to do their job, like providing safe roads, and investing in country ambulance stations and our vital rural hospitals.

“In the Lowan Electorate, Yarriambiack has the longest response time at 23 minutes and 48 seconds, while West Wimmera, Ararat, Hindmarsh, Moyne, Northern Grampians, Southern Grampians are all above the 15 minute benchmark.

"These response times have nothing to do with the skill of our paramedics, but the state of our country roads certainly plays a big role in delaying time critical patient transfers. 

“It shouldn’t matter where you live, every minute counts in a health emergency, but our country ambulance and health services have been forgotten by the Andrews Labor Government.

“Daniel Andrews and his Labor Government did not allocate one cent of new capital investment for any of the 17 hospitals across the Lowan electorate in last week’s budget.

“Labor also hasn’t reinvested the desperately needed $160 million Country Roads and Bridges program which would help keep our paramedics safe when transporting patients.

“Our paramedics and ambulance community officers are working exceptionally hard and doing their absolute best in challenging circumstances, even providing their own medical support in this amazing case of Casterton paramedic David Watson.

"Again I congratulate David for his quick thinking and safe self-management, and wish him a speedy recovery. It's time Labor support country paramedics like David and ensure he's given safer roads and better rural health infrastructure,” she said. 

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