The plight of Murwillumbah Mustangs player Nic Crompton was relayed in the state’s parliament yesterday after the footballer was forced to wait 36 minutes for an ambulance after in a premiership match against the Ballina Eagles at Kingsford Smith Park on Sunday.
The wait happened despite the park being just one kilometre from the nearest ambulance station.
NSW Labor frontbencher Guy Zangari asked NSW health minister Jillian Skinner about the lengthy wait during Questions without Notice yesterday.
Mrs Skinner said the 36-minute wait was a ‘perfect response’ and disputed the lengthy wait.
Labor’s health spokesperson Walt Secord has said the state ambulance service is under enormous pressure and the wait was ‘unacceptable as the injury occurred less than a kilometre from the ambulance station’.
‘The accepted response time for an ambulance is between eight to 10 minutes; this was more than three times the acceptable wait,’ Mr Secord said.
Mr Crompton was eventually transported to Lismore Base Hospital, where he was discharged later that day.
Ms Skinner told parliament the 000 call was received at 16:40 (4.40pm) and the patient was described as conscious and breathing.
‘The call was correctly assessed as requiring an immediate ambulance response,’ she said.
‘The nearest paramedic crew was dispatched at 16:43, which was three minutes after the call was received. The ambulance arrived on the scene at 17:13. ‘
‘A doctor was at the scene treating the patient from shortly after the incident until the paramedics arrived. The patient was transported by ambulance to Lismore Base Hospital in a stable condition.
‘I am pleased that the Ambulance Service responded exactly the way it was supposed to respond. The ambulance left within three minutes of receiving the call and was on the scene as quickly as possible. The ambulance transported the patient to Lismore Base Hospital in a stable condition. As I said, it was a perfect response on the part of the ambulance,’ the minister said.