Victorian deputy premier, James Merlino, has weighed in on the death of Nick Panagiotopoulos, whose desperate calls to triple zero went unanswered for 15 minutes.
His call was supposed to have been answered within five seconds.
Mr Panagiotopoulos’ death was brought to light by The Age on Wednesday, which reported that paramedics arrived 25 minutes after the Melbourne father first called for an ambulance while experiencing severe chest pains on October 16.
Despite their best efforts to save his life, paramedics were unable to keep Mr Panagiotopoulos alive.
In response to this news, Mr Merlino said Mr Panagiotopoulos’ death was “deeply upsetting” and will be investigated by the coroner and the Inspector General for Emergency Management.
“There are no words that I can say to this family or any other family that have lost a loved one… We do not want families to go through what this family has,” the Victorian Deputy Premier said.
Mr Melino confirmed the state government was funnelling money into the issue, telling reporters 43 additional Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) staff had been hired.
“I think it’s important the government acts, and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” he said.
Victorian Opposition Leader, Matthew Guy, said the state government was failing to properly manage the health system.
“If they can’t get the health system right now, they’ll never get it right. Maybe the problem actually is with the government and not the system,” Mr Guy said on Wednesday.
Mr Panagiotopoulos’ death due to flaws in the system is not the first in Victoria this year. In April, a 32-year-old Caulfield woman was found dead in her home more than six hours after calling an ambulance.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald.