The National Ambulance Service (OMSZ) prepared a report for Interior Minister Sándor Pintér on how long it takes the ambulance to reach those in need of immediate care. On average, in 78 percent of cases across the country, the ambulances arrived within 15 minutes, but only slightly more than half of the so-called P2 help-seekers, reports Népszava.
Both cases require immediate care, but in the first case an emergency vehicle with a doctor or an ambulance officer is needed, for the latter, an ambulance “can be enough”.
Since the investigation ordered by the Minister of the Interior, the proportion of cases classified as the most urgent has increased by 25-30 percent.
According to the results of the investigation, in 11 large cities, the ambulances were on the scene within 15 minutes for all P1 cases, but in 9 they were only able to do so 80-95 percent of the time, the worst situation being in Budapest, Veszprém, Debrecen and Miskolc.
With regard to P2 cases, the situation is the worst in Budapest: in barely a quarter of such urgent calls, the ambulance arrives within 15 minutes, and on average 36 minutes elapse before help can arrive. Even in Miskolc, only slightly more than half of the cases receive help within the standard time.
While there are 5 ambulances per 100,000 inhabitants in Budapest and Pest County, there are almost twice as many in the rest of the country. The OMSZ has not published such statistical data since 2017. In 2014, in 72.5 percent of the emergency calls, the patient got there within 15 minutes, a year later in 68-69 percent of the cases, in 2017 only 64-65 percent of the patients got help within the standard time.
The reason for the slowdown is that there are not enough people and cars to complete the tasks smoothly. More and more doctors and ambulance officers are missing from their shifts, so it is not possible to send enough ambulances for urgent cases.