Four Corners - Out of Time
Reporter Matthew Carney investigates claims by whistle-blowers inside the St John Ambulance Service in Western Australia, who say that poor organisation and a lack of accountability could be contributing to the death of some patients. The program details a series of harrowing cases where emergency calls were wrongly classified or simple instructions ignored. The result? Ambulance crews arrived too late to save their critically ill patients.
The St John organisation has been providing an ambulance service to people in Western Australia for over a century. It's a not for profit company and in that time it has saved countless lives. But right now paramedics inside the organisation are in revolt. The reason is simple.
They claim that for some time now they have been telling senior managers the service must introduce a computerised system to prioritise emergency calls, and when things go wrong the cases must be fully investigated. Operational staff say those demands have been ignored. Now frustrated by the lack of action they have supplied Four Corners reporter Matthew Carney with documents that detail significant problems within the service.
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