THE next phase of the state government’s “Save lives: Save 000 for emergencies” has hit TV screens, helping paramedics to respond faster and save more lives.
The campaign encourages Victorians to remember the available healthcare services when they are unwell or have a minor injury.
The new campaign highlights the team of healthcare professionals who are ready and able to manage non-urgent health care issues, round the clock.
The campaign aims to reduce the number of non-emergency calls to 000. When an ambulance responds to a non-emergency, it takes paramedics away from time critical, life-threatening emergencies.
In 2015/16, calls for ambulances grew by 5.7 per cent, while the population of Victoria grew by 1.7 per cent.
The first phase of the campaign featured the story of Will, a young boy whose life was saved by local and Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) paramedics. Will’s life was saved because a MICA paramedic was available and not tied up with non-emergency calls.
Since the campaign, research shows 80 per cent of Victorians believe using an ambulance for a non-emergency is a misuse of the system, an increase from 73 per cent.
If Victorians feel unwell or have a minor injury, they should contact their local GPs. They can also see a pharmacist for questions on general health or call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24 for immediate and expert advice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Acting Minister for Ambulance Services Jenny Mikakos launched the campaign last month.
“We want Victorians to have confidence that in an emergency they will get the care they need, when they need it,” she said.
“There’s not a second to waste in an emergency. When an ambulance is called to a non-emergency, it puts the lives of others at risk.
“Victorians are fortunate to have so much choice in healthcare. For advice and immediate treatment there are experienced GPs, pharmacists and registered nurses available to assist.”
For more information, head to betterhealth.vic.gov.au/campaigns/save-000-for-emergencies