Another tragic ramping story

Sunday 21 January 2024

Our state’s healthcare system is in crisis, and sadly this means there is no shortage of South Australian families who have heartbreaking stories to tell. After the recent tragic death of 54-year-old Eddie, who had to wait ten hours for an ambulance, another family reached out to us to share their own devastating experience. Today Shadow Minister for Health Ashton Hurn and I stood with the family of Betty Dobson who sadly passed away last year after she was unable to get an ambulance.

Betty’s husband Stephen called triple zero after Betty – who was battling pancreatic cancer – complained of being in excruciating pain. He said a follow up triple zero call was made where it’s understood the operator advised no ambulance was available – despite the Dobson family only living two kilometres away from the Noarlunga Ambulance Station. With the help of a neighbour, Stephen managed to get Betty into his car and rushed her to a very busy Noarlunga Hospital – an experience he said was extremely traumatic. It was later discovered Betty had a perforated bowel associated with her cancer. Sadly, she passed away the following day at Flinders Medical Centre.

Mrs Dobson had worked in the health system herself, including volunteering with an ambulance service. Yet in the last day of her life there was no ambulance available when she needed one the most, and her last hours were filled with excruciating pain as a result.

Peter Malinauskas promised South Australians he would fix ramping and fix our health system – but on his watch, things have never been worse.