Materia Medica Malaysiana

September 11, 2007

Ministry replacing old ambulances

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:02 am

Star: THE Health Ministry has taken steps to avoid accidents involving ambulances and is replacing old vehicles in stages, the Treasury said.
“Among the steps is to provide training to drivers according to the fixed module, monitoring the maintenance of ambulances by concessionaires and replacing old ambulances in stages according to new specifications,” said the Treasury in its report, when responding to findings in the Auditor-General’s report.
According to the report, 112 ambulances were involved in 120 road accidents from 2005 until September last year, causing two deaths and 29 injuries.
The accidents had also caused a decrease in the number of ambulances that could be used at any one time as repair works took a long time, the A-G’s report said.
On findings that some ambulances had basic medical equipment that were either not functioning well or non-existent, the Treasury said the ministry would ensure all ambulances were properly equipped.
“Repairs on non-functioning equipment had been carried out and a beyond economic repair (BER) certificate issued for ‘ailing’ vehicles,” the Treasury said.
On the RM514,439 fine, which had yet to be imposed on a contractor who was late in delivering 106 ambulances, the Treasury said the ministry would fine the supplier.
The A-G’s report also stated that ambulance service control centres at seven hospitals were not fully operational due to various reasons, including lack of communication tools, inadequate manpower or paramedic aid and the lack of expertise in handling the equipment.
The Treasury said the ministry was taking steps to improve its ambulance service, including upgrading its call centre radio communication at five hospitals at RM115,000 each.
For 2007, the ministry had spent RM3mil to upgrade call centres at all state and specialists hospitals, to install transmitter units and to ensure that vacancies were being filled, the Treasury said.

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