If you’re in the Fort Worth, Texas area and you call an ambulance for your influenza symptoms, your ride to the hospital may not have the red spinning lights on it.
In order to respond to the threefold increase in ambulance calls from patients with influenza-like symptoms, Medstar Ambulance Service is considering a change in policy where patients are evaluated after a call and then told that they “don’t need to go to the hospital.” If the patients still insist on transport, they won’t be taken to the hospital by ambulance. Instead, Medstar will arrange a taxi ride – and not necessarily to the hospital, either. Patients might get taken to an emergency clinic instead.
Oh, and when they’re discharged they’ll still have to find a ride home.