A potential 30 to 40 minute wait for an ambulance led to a woman being taken to Timaru Hospital by private car.
The woman, 30, collapsed in the Pak ‘n Save supermarket in Timaru on Sunday afternoon.
St John customer and services manager Christine Prince said the caller was informed of the delay. She said each call was assessed and the level of urgency judged.
In this case the woman had fainted and ambulances were unavailable immediately due to patient transfers.
"An off-duty intensive care paramedic was at the scene throughout until she was transferred by private transport."
Mrs Prince said the process on Sunday was nothing out of the ordinary. If the patient had been in need of urgent care, resources from other locations such as Pleasant Point would have been used.
- The Timaru Herald