Ambulance in Red Zones in Cape Town, South Africa : Waiting time for patients when ambulance requires armed escort
Sammanfattning: Background. In South Africa violence related crimes are frequent, and interpersonal violence is one of the most common causes of injury and death. Violence can be related to social structures, poverty and income inequality. In South Africa 25% of the population live in extreme poverty, and 16% of households in Western Cape live in Informal dwellings. Drug and alcohol miss-use is a big problem. EMS personnel all over the world are exposed to violence. The last couple of years the rate of incidents of violence against the ambulances and EMS personnel in Western Cape and Cape Town has escalated, and a protocol to protect the personnel has been established. The protocol of Red Zones requires an armed escort for the ambulance and EMS personnel when working in certain areas. The red zones are often in low income areas, which makes United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of Reduced inequality relevant. The Purpose of this study is to describe how red zones affect patient waiting times and mission times for the ambulance in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Method. Quantitative analysis of priority 1 assignments in one month periods in 2016, 2017 and 2018 to Hanover Park, a suburb of Cape Town. Hanover Park has been considered a red zone since September 2016. Result. Seven different time periods in the missions were analyzed, comparing the City of Cape Town and Hanover park in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Conclusion. The result shows an increase in waiting times for EMS in Hanover Park, even though the precise response time could not be described. Call times and mission times for the entire City of Cape Town seem to have increased, indicating a problem beyond the red zones, potentially affecting everyone in need of an ambulance in the city. Further studies are encouraged.
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