More ambulances to help reduce Covid-19 patients dying at home

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THE Health Ministry is in discussions to hire 100 ambulances for a long-term period of between six months and a year, Health Ministry secretary-general Shafiq Abdullah said.

This was an effort by the ministry to overcome the shortage of existing ambulances in the Klang Valley and to finalise the procurement of 460 ambulances through open tender.

He said the ministry was also modifying vans, including outfitting them with minimum medical equipment such as oxygen cylinders to enable them to be used to transport patients to quarantine and Covid-19 low-risk treatment centres and hospitals.

“It is hoped the move would assist save more lives and reduced the rate of brought in dead (BID),” he told a press conference yesterday.

Also present were Health Minister Dr Adham Baba, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, deputy Health director-general Dr Chong Chee Kheong and Selangor Health Department director Dr Sha’ari Ngadiman.

Shafiq said the ministry has also approved RM39 million to purchase 12,873 boxes of Baricitinib medication.

“The ministry will also request the Finance Ministry for an additional allocation of RM50 million to procure the medicine and other medication for Covid-19 treatment, including Tocilizumab, Methylprednisolone injections and Enoxaparin,” he said.

Shafiq said to ensure adequate oxygen supply, the ministry was arranging the construction of four bulk oxygen tanks at Selayang Hospital and Kajang Hospital, which will be completed soon, for the use of Covid-19 patients.

Also, he said the outsourcing of services to transfer non-Covid-19 patients to private hospitals has reduced the waiting time for patients to receive treatment and enable categories three, four and five Covid-19 patients to be treated at public hospitals.

“A total of 1,310 patients have been treated at public hospitals around the greater Klang Valley between July 5 to Aug 10,” he said.

– Bernama