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Ambulances wait hours with patients at California hospitals

File Image of Ambulance
Posted at 2:33 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 17:33:40-05

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KERO) — Emergency health workers in California say they're waiting hours to transfer patients from ambulances to hospital emergency rooms due to chronic delays worsened by the nearly two-year coronavirus pandemic.

During a state legislative hearing, first responders on Wednesday said taking more than 20 minutes to receive a patient at a hospital emergency room isn’t good for the patient and impedes their ability to head out on new emergency calls.

Doctors say delays in lab work and insurance authorizations contribute to the hospital bottleneck. They also say too many non-urgent patients are seeking emergency room care.

California is grappling with a rise in hospitalizations following a spike in coronavirus infections that began late last month.