“Bike ambulances” are to be introduced in several Hungarian cities: the National Ambulance Service wishes to get help to those in trouble faster with this new method. However, this idea is not entirely positive. Read our article to find out why paramedics and experts think it would not be efficient to implement.
Since the beginning of July, station managers within the National Ambulance Service (OMSZ) have been tasked with assessing which paramedics would be willing to take on extra duties in a new cycling ambulance unit for extra pay, reports Népszava. Bike ambulances would be deployed mainly in cities, especially in areas with above-average call density, such as the capital and the Central Hungarian Region.
Ambulances can receive up to 3,000 calls a day across the country, with a third of calls coming from Budapest and the surrounding area. The ambulances on duty in the region are unable to keep up, so 10-15 ambulances a day are diverted to the capital from other parts of the country. But even so, there are still call congestions, with ambulances taking well over 15 minutes to arrive.
The communications manager of the National Ambulance Service, Pál Győrfi, confirmed that the programme will be piloted next spring. The conditions for bicycle rescue are currently being developed.
In big cities, the reason why ambulances do not arrive is not that they are stuck in traffic jams, but because they are short of human resources, writes health expert Zsombor Kunetz on his Facebook page. What is more, the ambulance workers’ association considers the deployment of bicycle units to be premature and unprofessional.
In his post, Kunetz highlighted: in the big cities, the reason why ambulances do not arrive in time is that the number of ambulance units is low compared to the number of calls. It will not solve the problem if they select paramedics from the existing staff, because then they will be missing from the ambulance cars. Either more ambulance units will be needed, i.e. extra human resources, or the OMSZ will have to respond to fewer calls, writes napi.hu.
Bike rescue does have its place, writes the expert. He adds: even in summer in parks, at major events and running races, but it will not be able to replace the ineptitude of management, the lack of organisation and the shortcomings of the care system.
Featured image: illustration, Paramedics of Queensland Ambulance Service Bicycle Response Team, Brisbane, Queensland, 2020
Source: napi.hu, Népszava