Australia: Music festivals unwilling to pay for expensive medical care, NSW inquest hears - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaMusic festivals unwilling to pay for expensive medical care, NSW inquest hears

07:50  11 september  2019
07:50  11 september  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Inquests and inquiries. What happens during the hearing . In some inquests recommendations are made to Ministers and Government and non-government agencies. CATCHWORDS: CORONIAL LAW; Hospital Care and Treatment; Clinical use of NSW Health "Chest Pain Pathway".

The inquest heard on Tuesday the only two doctors at Defqon.1 last year were simultaneously treating Mr Pham and Ms Nguyen before both were taken Mr Coffey said he didn't speak to Mike Hammond, the director of Emergency Medical Services, who ran the festival 's medical tent, about the number or

Music festivals unwilling to pay for expensive medical care, NSW inquest hears© Facebook: Defqon. 1 Festival Australia There were only two doctors working at the Defqon 1 festival in Sydney last year. There is a "lack of willingness" within the music festival industry to pay for expensive onsite medical services, a NSW inquest has heard.

The coroner is investigating six deaths over two years at music festivals across the state which prompted a Government crackdown on festival regulations.

Five of the young people who died received care from EMS Medical Services — a company which uses contractors to provide medical tents at many large festivals.

CEO Mike Hammond said prior to the string of fatalities, his company would make recommendations to the event promoter about required staffing levels.

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An inquest into the deaths of six young people at music festivals heard Event Medical Services, the company contracted to treat Giving evidence before Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame, NSW Ambulance intensive care paramedic Timothy Mascorella said that while EMS initially assured him

He said staff qualifications always influenced the cost and admitted a promoter could reject their recommendations or request changes.

Mr Hammond said there were times when he felt nervous going into an event and promoters did not want to pay for expensive care.

Company protocols have since been overhauled and if a promoter does not agree with the recommendations, EMS will not take on the job.

EMS has been heavily criticised by previous witnesses at the inquest who believed staffing levels were inadequate, doctors were underqualified and there was an absence of leadership in medical tents.

Mr Hammond was grilled about last year's Defqon 1 festival where Joseph Pham and Diana Nguyen died after arriving within minutes of one another in the medical tent.

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The NSW government will deploy new harm minimisation strategies at three Sydney music festivals this weekend. Senior critical care doctors, critical care paramedics and retrieval nurses would provide "an extra level of medical attention", Mr Hazzard said, in addition to provisions supplied by

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They were both suffering adverse reactions to drugs.

The court has previously heard one of only two doctors working at Defqon 1 made two requests to Mr Hammond that Mr Pham be transferred to hospital, recognising he was showing signs of MDMA toxicity and required urgent treatment.

But Mr Pham, 23, was not put in an ambulance until nearly an hour after he arrived at the tent.

Mr Hammond said he requested the booking when he was first asked.

"With the benefit of hindsight, it was extremely urgent," he said.

"I didn't inquire as to the urgency, I just booked the ambulance."

The perceived lack of leadership in the medical tent at Defqon 1 has previously been slammed by a NSW Ambulance intensive care paramedic as "abhorrent".

Asked whether he was "disappointed" with the care given to Mr Pham and Ms Nguyen, Mr Hammond said it was "the best we could do with what we had".

The inquest continues.

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One mother urged politicians to "step aside" and let the "experts guide the way" to prevent drug related harm.The mother of a young man who died after consuming MDMA at a NSW music festival has urged politicians to "step aside" and let the "experts guide the way" to prevent further drug related harm.

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