An ambulance transporting a patient tries to exit Amsterdam's Vondelpark on King's Day. April 27, 2015. (photo: Zack Newmark / NL Times) - Credit: An ambulance transporting a patient tries to exit Amsterdam's Vondelpark on King's Day. April 27, 2015. (photo: Zack Newmark / NL Times)
Tuesday, 18 October 2016 - 07:51
Slow ambulance response times under fire
Ambulances in the Netherlands often have too slow response times to emergencies, according to an analysis by Buurtfacts. In the countryside in particular ambulances regularly arrive late to an emergency, RTL Nieuws reports. Buurtfacts analyzed the response times - the time between receiving an emergency call and arriving at the scene - of more than 400 thousand ambulance calls last year. The national standard states that ambulances should arrive at the scene of an emergency in less than 15 minutes. And nationally more than 95 percent of ambulances should make this time limit. In 5.8 percent of all emergencies in the Netherlands the ambulance took longer than 15 minutes to get to the scene. This means that, as in previous years,, the national norm of 5 percent was exceeded. Ambulances in 240 of the 359 Dutch municipalities exceeded the norm. In most emergencies, 58 percent, the ambulance took between 5 and 10 minutes to make it to the scene of the emergency. In 8 percent the ambulance arrived even faster than that. And in 29 percent of the emergencies the trips took longer than 10 minutes, but less than 15 minutes. Zeewolde comes in first place for slowest response times. Ambulances arrived late at the scene in 20 percent of the cases. Molenwaard and Oirschot come in second place with 28 percent. Of the municipalities that had more than a thousand emergency call-outs, Goeree-Overflakkee performed the worst, with ambulances taking more than 15 minutes in 19 percent of cases. Coevorden and Schouwen-Duiveland also performed badly with 15 percent. Most cities did much better than the country side. In Leiden, Dordrecht, Enschede, Heerlen and Nijmegen the percentage of late ambulances is below 2 percent. But Amsterdam and Rotterdam did not meet the standard. The two largest cities had 7 percent and 6 percent late ambulances respectively. Ambulances in some municipalities responded on time in 100 percent of the cases. Uitgeest managed this most often, with 33 on time emergency responses.