A man in Chiayi City was fined NT$800 this morning after calling an ambulance because he was suffering from a headache. It was the 25th time he had called an ambulance this year due to minor, non-emergency ailments.
At 8:44 this morning, the Chiayi Municipal Government Fire Department received a request for emergency assistance at a residence on Daya Road. When the ambulance arrived, the patient named Zhang told paramedics that he was suffering from a headache and wanted to go to the hospital.
Ambulance officers assessed 46 year-old Mr Zhang’s life signs as stable, and told him that he was wasting ambulance resources. The officers then took Zhang to the emergency department of St Martin de Porres Hospital, less than 100 meters from Zhang’s home.
In the past 2 months Zhang had called for an ambulance 16 times, and a total of 25 times this year. The fact that Mr Zhang weighs well over 100 kilograms also added a strain to emergency medical resources as each time Zhang requests an ambulance ride, three people rather than two have to be dispatched in order to life Zhang into the ambulance.
Zhang’s requests for an ambulance are often the result of headaches, and occasionally fever, cold and flu symptoms, and other non-emergency medical symptoms. Today marks the first time Mr Zhang has been fined.
The fire department said that the number of emergency requests for ambulances has increased year by year, and urged the public to not waste ambulance resources, and to respect the ambulance professionals.
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