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Long hospital wait times impacting ambulance services

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Long hospital wait times impacting ambulance services

NORTH GREENBUSH, N.Y. (NEWS10) — For those at North Greenbush Ambulance, they’ve been busier than ever.

“More people want to go to the hospital, and are going to the hospital,” explained Ryan French, North Greenbush Ambulance Director of Operations.

During the height of the pandemic, many were too afraid to go. Now that there are COVID vaccines, it’s thought that people are feeling more comfortable going in for medical treatment. While it’s important that people get the care they need, it’s causing some challenges for hospitals.

“The hospital wait times since the beginning of the summer have gone through the roof,” said French. “Instead of waiting, sometimes 5-10 minutes to get a room, it’s very often to find ourselves an hour or two hours waiting to get a hospital bed in the ER.”

According to St. Peter’s Health Partners, the pandemic has stressed heath care systems, impacting staffing levels. Emergency departments in particular are feeling the pressure, and higher patient volumes are likely a result of patients delaying care.

Despite the challenges, St. Peter’s says high quality care is still being provided. During wait times, French and his co-workers do their best to help patients.

“At some of the hospitals, we sit in the back of the ambulance with the patient for this hour or two hours, and we continue to treat the patient as appropriately as we can, and get them the help that they need,” explained French.

“The hospitals do the best of their ability to get them in as quickly as they possibly can.”

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