In line with efforts to improve the country’s healthcare delivery system and pre-hospital care service, the Malaysian Health Ministry is taking action—by dispensing 500 new ambulances to hospitals and clinics nationwide, by September next year, claim authorities.

New ambulances to help meet needs of hospitals and clinics by at least 80%

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam launched the new specifications ambulance and new fleet delivery at Shah Alam Hospital recently. According to Subramaniam, the distribution of ambulances – which began early August – would be carried out in stages. He later shared that the whole operation involves a total allocation of RM400 million. One of its goals is “to tackle the issue of shortages some medical institutions face”.

“Currently, there are some 2,000 ambulances nationwide. The addition of new ambulances will help meet the needs of the hospitals and clinics by at least 80%,” he said.

He added, “The distribution, which will also include hospitals and clinics in Sabah and Sarawak, will depend on their (hospitals and clinics) needs. In addition, this exercise is also meant to replace old ambulances aged over 20 years.”

Adding to that, Subramaniam explained that paramedics would be well-trained to reach into the community and cater to patients. This safeguards the provision of efficient and comprehensive patient care.

The new fleet of ambulances would encompass wide-bodied elements, whereby patients would be more comfortable especially for long-distance rides, as well as narrow-bodied elements – an advantage during short-distance rides and traffic congestion periods, he claimed.

“In addition, these ambulances are also equipped with high-tech and sophisticated medical equipment, including the 12-Lead ECG (electrocardiogram) Transmission and Telemetry,” he shared.

Efforts to boost pre-hospital care services and better holistic patient management

“One of the ministry’s initiative is to boost pre-hospital care service to become an independent unit that will always be ready to respond to any medical emergencies—be it at home or on the road. We no longer want to have a situation where patients are merely transferred to hospitals without being checked on,” said Subramaniam.

He continued, “We want to optimise our emergency medical care service and patient care system. Hence, under the improved pre-hospital care service, medical assessment and care begin from the time the ambulance arrives, prior to the arrival of patients at a medical facility.”

Subramaniam also stressed that a lot can be done to aid patients during transport. This, in itself, could save many lives and reduce long term health effects – for intance, organ damage.

During the event at Hospital Shah Alam, 26 high-tech ambulances were dispersed to Selangor, Federal Territory health departments and Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

According to Datuk Zailan Adnan, Selangor Health Department director, endless support from the Ministry of Health in terms of providing ambulances has definitely aided in service delivery. This is especially so since Selangor handles a large amount of emergency calls.

He elaborated, “Klang, Shah Alam and Banting are our busiest operation zones, receiving almost 25% of the total number of calls made to the Selangor Medical Emergency Coordination Centre.” MIMS

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