Overhaul in Emergency Medical Services

Overhaul in Emergency Medical ServicesOverhaul in Emergency Medical Services

Iran’s emergency services are expected to undergo a major overhaul this calendar year (started March 20) with the addition of 2,000 new ambulances.

Air ambulances and motorbike medical services are also planned to be added to the existing fleet.

Last year, 3,000 ambulances were purchased by the Health Ministry and this year, 2,000 advanced and well-equipped ambulances are being imported, “an unprecedented move” by the Health Ministry, said Mohammad Aghajani, the deputy for treatment services at the ministry, IRNA reported.

In metropolises with highly congested streets where four-wheelers find it difficult to maneuver, motorcycles are a useful alternative as they are able to plough through the traffic snarls and also move at a faster pace than a regular ambulance. In addition, the injured do not always need to be transferred to hospital by ambulance and can be provided on-the-spot treatment by medical aid workers.

The introduction of two-wheelers for rapid response is a major improvement in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system. Last year, the idea was put on trial in Tehran with 30 advanced motorbikes, and achieved great success.

“The government has approved the purchase of 200 motorcycles this year,” said Aghajani.

The average time before emergency services arrive on the scene of an accident is between eight and 14 minutes.

Around 22 air emergency services are currently operating in the country but the helicopters are all hired from the armed forces. Although their services are useful in supplementing the existing land services, the choppers do not have the standards required for air ambulances.

The air emergency fleet needs at least 44 helicopters to be able to provide effective and efficient services across 150,000 km of bypasses and remote rural roads.

“This number is the ultimate goal of the ministry over a five-year period. However, the contract for the purchase of four or five specialized emergency helicopters equipped with standard appliances including night vision will hopefully be signed this year,” said Aghajani.