When should you consider calling a non-emergency ambulance?

Posted: Oct 24 2022

A medical emergency is a scary moment for anyone. It can feel hard to know how to get the help you need when you or someone nearby is hurt or sick. In really bad situations, it makes sense to dial triple zero and get an emergency crew to come to your location. However, there are also times when a non-emergency ambulance makes more sense. Knowing the difference is important.

When to call a non-emergency ambulance

If you find yourself in need of medical care, the first thing you should do is try to stay calm so you can assess how serious your problem is. For major health scares such as strokes, heart attacks or spinal injuries, calling emergency crews makes sense, according to Health Direct (Ambulances | Healthdirect, n.d.). For less serious problems, however, the resources from emergency crews may not be needed.

Some less serious problems include stomach issues related to food poisoning, lightheadedness that doesn’t cause you to pass out or other non-life threatening medical concerns. These are things you definitely need help with, but you may not feel comfortable or strong enough to transport yourself to care.

You may also want to call a non-emergency ambulance when you need help transporting a person who can’t move on their own. Someone who is bed-bound and needs to get a medical facility can benefit from an ambulance service that can care for them during transport, without tying up resources needed for emergencies. If someone is seriously injured or needs urgent medical attention, call triple zero (000), for less serious conditions follow the directions on saambulance.sa.gov.au/when-to-call-000/

Things to remember about a non-emergency ambulance

When you get ready to call for medical help, there are some things to keep in mind. First, be prepared to communicate what’s happening with the dispatcher. Try to have as much information about the medical needs of the patient as possible, including medical history and medications.

Also consider the logistics of responses from any medical crew. In more remote areas, you may have to wait for the ambulance to get to your location, then take you to the medical facility. This can influence whether you need a non-emergency ambulance or a more expedient form of help.

Costs are another factor to keep in mind when seeking medical help. Unfortunately, medical transport is not free. As SA Ambulance Service notes (When to Call 000, n.d.), ambulance use comes with a cost.

Patients calling a non-emergency ambulance should also be aware of the limits of paramedics. These professionals cannot prescribe new medicines and are not meant to be a substitute for your general practitioner. For basic health needs and advice, calling your regular doctor for a chat may prove more effective and less costly.

Getting the health care you need is an important part of life, so making sure you understand your options now will make it easier to navigate unexpected incidents. Your insurance plays a big role in this, so see the coverage Health Partners offers and find a plan to fit your needs.

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Ambulances | healthdirect. (n.d.). Healthdirect. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/what-is-an-ambulance

Calling an ambulance. (2021, December 20). Better Health Channel. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/servicesandsupport/calling-an-ambulance

Calling triple zero (000) | healthdirect. (2018, June 28). Healthdirect. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/calling-triple-zero

When-and when not-to call an ambulance. (n.d.). Emergency Physicians. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from https://www.emergencyphysicians.org/article/er101/when---and-when-not---to-call-an-ambulance

When it's not an emergency - NSW Ambulance. (n.d.). NSW Ambulance. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from https://www.ambulance.nsw.gov.au/our-services/emergency-services/when-its-not-an-emergency

When to Call 000. (n.d.). SA Ambulance Service. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from https://saambulance.sa.gov.au/when-to-call-000/

Health Insurance | Private Health Insurance Australia. (n.d.). Health Partners. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from https://www.healthpartners.com.au/health-insurance

Posted: Oct 24 2022


The information contained here is of a general nature and does not take into account your personal medical situation. The information is not a substitute for independent professional medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or used for therapeutic purposes. Should you require specific medical information, please seek advice from your healthcare practitioner. Health Partners does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided. While we have prepared the information carefully, we can’t guarantee that it is accurate, complete or up-to-date. And while we may mention goods or services provided by others, we aren’t specifically endorsing them and can’t accept responsibility for them.

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