First responders voiced their growing concerns at the California State Capitol over long wait times in emergency rooms.
The workers expressed their frustration during a hearing yesterday, saying they had to wait long hours until patients are admitted into emergency rooms. Some emergency health workers report waiting up to eight hours until a transfer happens. The Sacramento Fire Department said this results in longer response times for new emergencies, with many reported waiting several hours because no one is available to receive new patients — a problem that has significantly worsened as the COVID-19 Omicron variant causes hospital and emergency room staffing issues. First responders are saying this was a decades long problem in the making, with hospital staffing already significantly impaired for emergencies with even more frequent issues coming to them due to COVID related complications.
It's been reported by the Sacramento Fire Department that average response times in the Downtown area of Sacramento have now extended as long as 12 minutes. Solutions to these issues proposed include making hospitals pay a fine if an ambulance waits longer than 20 minutes, or more staffing hires for patients who are dropped off.