Tallinn ambulance boss: Raised alert level will lead to reduced quality

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Head of the Tallinn ambulance service Raul Adlas. Source: ERR

The Tallinn ambulance service may have to cut back on service quality if the state makes the move to escalate the current health care emergency status to its highest level, the authority's director says. The service had already been facing melt-down a week ago, with ambulances having to travel as far afield from the capital as Pärnu.

The Tallinn ambulance service's chief doctor, Raul Adlas, told daily Postimees that the: "Highest emergency level, i.e. the third, applies in situations where the number of patients is rising uncontrollably."

"In such case, reducing quality to prioritize patients whose life is endangered is permissible, whereas many types of planned surgery must be put off.

While Adlas said a week ago that the Tallinn service was seeing one coronavirus-related call-out every 20 minutes, the scenario outlined above had not yet arrive.

He said: "We in the ambulance service are still quite far from a situation like that; we have enough resources, and we are carrying out our work with the same quality, as we do every day."

The service was called out 350 times on Friday.

"We have about one hundred calls more than the usual rate, and we also get around one hundred COVID-19 call-outs daily," Adlas said. 

BNS reports that the figure for call-outs on Tuesday, February 23, stood at nearly 400, the result of freak weather conditions which saw icy rain fall and immediately freeze, rendering many sidewalks virtual ice-rinks for several hours and leading to dozens of injuries, both to pedestrians and drivers.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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