KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health received 79 new ambulance vehicles that will go on duty in February, Acting Undersecretary Majda Al- Qattan announced. The vehicles are currently going under full inspections to make sure they fit international standards, Qattan said in a statement yesterday.
Meanwhile, Qattan said the ministry has set a plan with different companies to develop its emergency services. This includes providing new communications networks and cameras for video calls to connect ambulances with emergency rooms, so that doctors may follow up on the patient’s case before he/she arrives at the nearest hospital. The vehicles are made in Europe, as European standards have the best modern technology in emergency medical services, as well as being spacious to allow freedom of movement for the medical staff inside the vehicle, she noted. These ambulance cars are also certified in most countries, she added.
In the meantime, head of medical emergency department Munther Al-Jalahma said that the ministry’s strategic plan of 2015 had currently achieved about 65 percent of its targets. As part of the plan, the ministry has currently opened 71 ambulance centers out of 100, spread across all areas and islands. It also appointed 250 paramedics out of 500, a number the ministry aims to achieve within two years. Moreover, with the newly received ambulance cars, the number is 249 out of 270 vehicles, he said. Another target is responding to emergency calls in no more than eight minutes by 2020, which is the international standard, Jalahma said.
“Currently, we are responding within 11 minutes, however, the record used to be ten minutes in 2015 and 2016 but the recent construction works across the country are delaying services,” he added. In order to reach eight minutes, paramedics must go under annual training courses and have trainings on major medical emergencies at every hospital, the official explained. He also said that the ministry’s plan involves training about ten percent of the Kuwaiti society on performing first aid. — KUNA