Raising the Bar on Health Services, Ambulances

Raising the Bar on Health Services, AmbulancesRaising the Bar on Health Services, Ambulances

Significant improvement in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is on the agenda in the next year (starts March 21), said Dr. Amin Saberiniya, head of the national EMS.

With regard to boosting the services, 100 emergency centers in hospitals across the country will be equipped with better facilities for medical contingencies, Mehr News Agency reported.

In the first phase of the plan, 100 new ambulances have been purchased and 500 more will be added by the end of the first two months of the New Year.

The health ministry is planning to import high quality EMS ambulances from abroad. “The ministry as the authority responsible for public health is trying to acquire well-equipped ambulances to provide quality services to meet people’s needs; if domestic manufacturers can meet our standards, we have no problem to buy locally made ambulances,” Saberiniya said. “Unfortunately, domestic manufacturers cannot meet the demands of the health ministry,” he added.

The draft plan is ready and is being reviewed by the health minister.

  Aerial Services

“We are planning to retrofit old ambulances, which require $35.3 million. Financial support of the government is needed for the purpose,” he said. At present over 4000 ambulances are providing services across the country.

Saberiniya pointed to the 18 aerial emergency stations in the country and said, “In the current year, 750 people benefited from aerial emergency services.”

Providing aerial emergency equipment is expensive; with the help of Red Crescent, Iranian Army Ground Forces (NEZAJA) Organization, and the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) “we were able to establish the aerial stations. Our plan is to provide aerial relief services to all provinces, particularly disaster-prone regions,” he added.

Iran has a high rate of traffic accidents. Annually about 20,000 people lose their lives and more than 800,000 are injured in road accidents. The best and most suitable means of rescue and transportation of injured patients is air ambulance. Like ground ambulances, air ambulances are installed with medical equipment vital to monitoring and treating the injured or sick patients.

Covering ‘blind spots’ (not within reach of ground ambulance) including minor and rural roads, impassable areas and crowded roads where traffic is an obstacle, is part of the process to improve  ‘patient transfer quality’ and decrease the time taken to transport the sick or injured to medical centers. These are the main objectives of the air emergency expansion program.