A Study on the Role of Public Health in Reducing the Abuse of Ambulance Services.
The primary role of all ambulance services is emergency pre-hospital medical care, although they generally provide both emergency response and patient transfer on behalf of the health sector. They provide easy access to health services, particularly out of hours, and contribute significantly to telephone triage and telephone health services through sophisticated communications infrastructure.
The ambulance service is ideally placed to be part of the first line in the continuum of healthcare, and can significantly contribute to ‘treat and transfer’ or ‘treat and leave’ programs. If ambulance services can develop towards an out-of-hospital, clinical care service rather than merely pre-hospital clinical care, they could substantially add to the functionality of the health system. This
could be through more efficient transfer of patient information; more efficient movement of patients; an ambulance service with public service – rather than profit-driven – philosophy; and patient treatment regimens consistent with the broader health system.
The history of public health is extensive and includes many great successes regarding environmental health, the control of infectious diseases, occupational health, and reductions in
smoking amongst the general public. At the federal level, multiple agencies, including the U.S. Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have public health responsibilities. Every state has a health department, as do almost all counties and many larger municipalities.
Demand is growing throughout healthcare services, but for ambulance services, the increase is faster, in some countries close to twice the rate of other healthcare services and often without
a commensurate increase in resources.
Public Health Open J. 2021; 6(2): 43-53. doi: 10.17140/PHOJ-6-158