“There is a lack of ambulances everywhere, especially in Lisbon and the Algarve.”
The lack of ambulances in Faro was denounced by the Union of Pre-Hospital Emergency Technicians (STEPH) because a pre-hospital intervention doctor (VMER) had to accompany a patient in a car driven by the patient’s wife.
“There is a lack of ambulances everywhere, especially in Lisbon and the Algarve. However, what was unusual this time was that the doctor travelled in a car driven by a family member. He did so because it was an urgent situation. But had the patient had a cardiac arrest during transport, there were no conditions [such as in an ambulance] for resuscitation”, said the president of STEPH, Rui Lázaro.
The incident occurred around 18:00 on Friday, February 17, when only a Medical Emergency and Resuscitation Vehicle (VMER) arrived at the patient’s location. Given that “no ambulances were available, the doctor transported the patient in his [the patient’s] car, driven by his wife.”
“Unfortunately, this scenario [the lack of ambulances] could happen more often”, he admitted, stressing “the courage” of the VMER doctor in “assuming the risk of transporting the patient”.