legality of calling ambulances

St John Ambulance (6DS), AMS, RFDS etc. Frequencies, callsigns and discussion.

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slipknot
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legality of calling ambulances

Post by slipknot » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:32 pm

I had to call the police for a friend who rang me today who told me she was trying to kill herself at home whilst her husband was absent. The police subsiquently called a priority 1 ambulance to the address.

Her husband is angry at me becuase of the bill, and is threatening legal action for me to pay the bill.....

Is there any chance that I will have to pay for this?
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yorky
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Re: legality of calling ambulances

Post by yorky » Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:59 pm

As usual I'm not a lawyer, however you said you called the police, not an ambulance. I would imagine then that the calling of said ambulance would be on police responsibility not you. That and the patient would have either accepted the transport or I'm only guessing but if its a mental health issue the police may be able to enforce the ambulance transport?

Either way to me it doesn't should like you need to worry and the husband is either peed off or trying to play the blame game.
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slipknot
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Re: legality of calling ambulances

Post by slipknot » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:14 pm

Thanks Yorky
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helimedic
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Re: legality of calling ambulances

Post by helimedic » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:17 am

Slipknot,

Regardless of who calls for an ambulance the patient receiving the service is responsible for paying the bill.

Just ignore the idle threats for legal action as you cannot be held liable for this ambulance account.

Helimedic.

slipknot
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Re: legality of calling ambulances

Post by slipknot » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:36 am

Makes sense i guess dosnt it....Thanks mate :D
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Fire Chief
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Re: legality of calling ambulances

Post by Fire Chief » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:13 am

If you call for a Ambulance for a traffic accident you have to supply your name and phone number.......If the people refuse said ambulance the caller will get the bill

AcesAP
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Re: legality of calling ambulances

Post by AcesAP » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:15 am

Helimedic is 100% correct. It is only the patient that is held responsible for the ambulance account. Ambulance accounts for MVAs are paid for (in most cases) by the Insurance Council of WA as part of your motor vehicle registration.

The caller information is obtained for all calls made to SJA to allow us to call back to obtain more info, or better location if necessary.

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Re: legality of calling ambulances

Post by Zebedee » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:44 am

Fire Chief wrote:If you call for a Ambulance for a traffic accident you have to supply your name and phone number.......If the people refuse said ambulance the caller will get the bill
I don't believe this is true. Do you have any documentation to back this up?
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helimedic
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Re: legality of calling ambulances

Post by helimedic » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:59 pm

From the St. John Ambulance website:

"Billing Policy

St John Ambulance is a ‘user pays’ organisation which means that travelling in an ambulance is not free."

Helimedic

Bonez
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Re: legality of calling ambulances

Post by Bonez » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:23 pm

helimedic wrote:Slipknot,

Regardless of who calls for an ambulance the patient receiving the service is responsible for paying the bill.

+1 to this... I have Medibank Private Extras cover, (no hospital) and they must hate me right now. I broke my ankle late last year, I was alone at home in a 3rd story apartment and I had no choice but to call an Ambulance. The bill was $822 from Subiaco to Charlies *cough cough*... also had about $600 worth of dental work done last year... the whole policy costs me $120 per year.

Ambulance cover alone is available for about $40 a year... you'd me mad not to have it because you never know when you are going to need it.

You aren't responsible for the Police's actions, and I think they did the right thing - although it depends on the situation. As you know, if they have a concern for someone's welfare, they have to treat it as a high priority regardless of which emergency services are involved.

You did the right thing.

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Re: legality of calling ambulances

Post by phreak » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:02 pm

Bonez wrote: You did the right thing.
second that thought!
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SJANT
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Re: legality of calling ambulances

Post by SJANT » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:20 pm

User pays system not caller pays. Otherwise lots of third party callers would be getting some huge bills which discourages people calling ambulances for others.

Doesn't make sense for the caller to be billed at a traffic incident. They may be passing by, not involved at all and they aren't the ones utilising the resource. Just activating it.

As for the original poster they can make threats all they like. You had a concern for welfare, called the police and notified them and they acted accordingly from there. The husband is probably just looking to shift blame.

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Re: legality of calling ambulances

Post by Infernal » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:52 am

Watch the health covers, sometimes they only cover P1, despite their advertising of "Ambulance Cover"

In the Metro there is no charge on KM's, its a base rate depending on your priority, $847 is the call out fee only for P1

If you live in a remote post code, the best thing to do is get SJA Ambulance cover, its $40 a year for singles, covers you for every ambulance ride regardless of the Priority, and any where in Australia, the money you pay goes back into your sub center.

Trips in the country are billed on, initial call out fee of around $200 then some where in the vicinity of $1.50+ Per KM, and Thats KM's from when the wheels start rolling out of the shed/depot to when they are firmly parked back in the shed.

Example, if you live in Mukinbudin, and you are taken to Kununoppin Hospital, you will be charged for the entire round trip, which is about 80km's

SJANT
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Re: legality of calling ambulances

Post by SJANT » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:50 pm

Yeah be careful of the insurance companies and read the wording very carefully on the policy. Something I always try to tell people because your policy may only cover emergency transport and the insurance company definition of that may be different to what you think it is. Subscriptions are usually the cheapest way to go but again read the wording carefully.

http://www.stjohnnt.org.au/index.php/en ... scriptions

Above is a link to the St John NT website and at the bottom of the page is the transportation fee section.

P1 = $660 and for every KM over 10 it's $4.25/km. This usually includes the k's that are required to return back to the station and end when you get assigned a new job.

P2 = $300 plus $4.25 per km over 10km.

Commonwealth concession card holders receive transport for free as do Dept of Vet Affairs.

Check with your local ambulance service for the exact costs but the St. John NT website is indicative of what they charge for transport.

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Re: legality of calling ambulances

Post by modernmind » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:06 am

Probably not the best way to do it... but if you find yourself in an ambulance and REALLY dont want to pay the bill, you can always give the ambo a false name. Im not aware of any law against it. Then after you've been triaged at hospital you can just say "hey nurse, i just remembered... my name isnt Joe Bloggs, its James Smith"

Strongly discouraged.... but ive seen many many people do it before

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