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Patient overload: the Red Cross is often a “free taxi”

Patient overload: the Red Cross is often a “free taxi”

“Transport tickets” turn Red Cross cars into “taxi” for people who don’t really need them.

Do you ask relatives about “transportation by ambulance” if possible?

Telefs. The range of services provided by the Red Cross is huge, including transporting patients to and from specialized clinics and hospitals, etc. Many vehicles with crews work 8 hours a day, but this time is no longer enough, according to the director of the RK Telfs district office Daniel struggle: “Unfortunately, many people use the ambulance as a taxi.”
Equipped with a “transport ticket”—issued by a doctor, for example—these trips are free. The Red Cross is increasingly forced to make trips that relatives, family and friends can take. He leads the Red Cross in the first place, with his expertise and equipment Eligible Patient Transfer out, so People with limited mobility with a chair or carry chair. struggle:

“We hardly have any free capacity for this, so many people use the system and take it for granted that we’ll drive them, even if they don’t need it. Then the customer says: After all, that’s what you’re there for.”

The Red Cross “as a free taxi”

The Red Cross turned into a “taxi company” at the expense of the general public. Struggl knows this can lead to waiting times for some patients of several hours:

“This is very upsetting, especially for those who have to be brought in lying down or with the transport chair. And then our helpers get angry and frustrated.”

struggle He points to qualified personnel who are becoming increasingly difficult to find: “No wonder.”

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It is a phenomenon spread all over Austria. “The state has offered financial support to create the resources. But that’s just fighting the symptoms,” Struggl explains.

“The problem must be addressed at its root. The doctor should tell his patient that the Red Cross should not be called in in certain cases,”

Struggl appeals. But doctors don’t want to alienate their clients, so they can enjoy a “free taxi ride.” struggle:

“It happens that we have to stop in front of a store because the patient still wants to shop there.”

ÖGK is working on a solutionThat patients who do not require “eligible patient transport” and who call a taxi will also pay for it. “It would be a good way to put us at ease,” said Struggle. “We’ll see if it works that way.”