A KOTARA man has branded the triple-0 operators ‘‘uneducated morons’’ after he waited three hours for an ambulance when his elderly wife had a fall.
Robert McDonald said his wife Marlein, who has multiple sclerosis, was left lying on the floor of their home in the excessive heat last Friday because operators would not prioritise her, despite her condition.
The 76-year-old said triple-0 operators ran through a set list of questions but did not seem to have sufficient medical training to realise that a multiple sclerosis patient would suffer more in the heat.
‘‘Heat is the main cause of fatigue. It leaves them listless,’’ Mr McDonald said.
Mr McDonald had been trying to transfer his wife, 74, to her wheelchair about 1.30pm when she fell.
He rang triple-0, as he had been instructed to do in the past, and was told ambulance crews were on the way.
When they had not arrived 90 minutes later, he rang again and spoke to a supervisor.
A two-man crew arrived at 4pm but they told Mr McDonald they were not allowed to lift small Mrs McDonald because of occupational safety reasons, nor was Mr McDonald allowed to help.
They had to call for a second crew and Mrs McDonald was lifted into her chair at 4.30pm.
Mr McDonald said it was ridiculous.
‘‘Half an hour would have been fine, but three hours is unacceptable.’’
He was further angered by the need for two crews for a ‘‘five-minute’’ job.
Mrs McDonald is in the advanced stages of the illness, can only turn her head and struggles to speak.
She had small bruising and a pulled muscle from the fall but did not need to go to hospital.
The Ambulance Service of NSW did not respond to the Newcastle Herald’s inquiries.