Amsterdam ambulances under fire for 12-min response avg.
Ambulance employees in Amsterdam are experiencing excessive workload due to poor management. Te equipment in the ambulances is outdated and the response times are getting longer. The union Abvakabo presented these and other complaints to the Health Care Inspectorate on Monday. According to Fred Seifert of Abvakabo, the average response time between an emergency message and the arrival of an ambulance has risen from 9.5 minutes to more than 11.5 minutes. "While in an emergency, every second counts." The Abvakabo hopes that the Inspectorate will intervene because, according to them, the management has done little to nothing with previous complaints. Things have long not been going smoothly between ambulance employees and the management of Ambulance Amsterdam, a subsidiary of the Academic Medical Center (AMC). Ambulance Amsterdam has 450 employees in ten locations in three regions. After a merger in 2012, the company has not been in order. Due to this the quality of ambulance transport has since deteriorated, the union says on behalf of the employees. Previous research shows that there is great dissatisfaction. "Especially the workload is a major concern, the staff gets fatigued with all the risk it entails. One is often forced to work overtime. The standers of the Working Hours Law are being exceeded." says Seifert. According to the Ambulance Amsterdam management, the quality of ambulance services in and around Amsterdam is on "a good level". The management blames the unrest among the staff on "bumps" which are always involved in a merger. According to management the delay in the replacement of equipment is due to the mandatory European tender. The arrival times will be improved by three new ambulance station and additional staff.