Kangaroo numbers are not dictating ambulance movements at night, but southern sector chief inspector service delivery Bruce Purves said it does play a part in decision making.
Chief Insp Purves, who is based with the Ambulance Service of NSW in Deniliquin, has denied claims that non-critical patients have had their transfers deferred because of kangaroo numbers in the district.
The speculation came out of discussions surrounding the future of the Deniliquin Hospital and nurse to patient ratios over the last two weeks.
Chief Insp Purves said while rising kangaroo numbers are certainly considered when assessing the need to move a patient, it’s just one of many factors.
‘‘Any transfer we do from hospital is based on risk management.
‘‘If the patient is not acute, we do look at the risk of transporting at night.
‘‘It’s not only kangaroos, but also fatigue management as well. We will always drive according to risk.
‘‘Generally speaking each transfer is assessed on merit, and assessed out of the control room, and if required we can look at other means including retrieval from aero-medical.’’
Chief Insp Purves said so far Deniliquin-based paramedics have avoided any serious run-ins with kangaroos during transfers, but some others in the sector have not.
‘‘There is certainly an increased number of kangaroos and the (ambulance) vehicles across the zone have suffered a few ‘roo strikes.
‘‘We had one of our cars out of action out Moulamein way, but it’s now back on the road.
‘‘Across the Murrumbidgee zone we’ve had a few other cars off the road because of strikes.
‘‘If any is taken off the road, it is always replaced with another.’’