HEALTH services in the state are set to improve following the delivery of eight new ambulances for community health clinics in Seremban recently.
However, state health department director Dr Zainal Arifin Omar said another 15 ambulances were urgently needed to replace older ones.
“Currently, only 72 of our ambulances are in good condition. Twenty- three old vehicles were phased out recently and we are waiting for the replacements.
“Many other states are facing the same problem and it is imperative that the shortage be overcome as ambulances play an important role in saving lives, especially in emergencies,” he said.
Health clinics in Jelebu, Linggi, Lui Muda, Serting Hilir, Gemencheh, Rembau, Mantin and Kuala Pilah received the new ambulances worth RM1.4mil.
State health, science, technology and innovation committee chairman Datuk Ismail Taib, who presented the ambulances to representatives from the respective district health offices, said temporary measures were taken to deal with the current shortage of vehicles.
“Newer ambulances have been stationed at busier hospitals with higher patient turnover and emergencies.
“Most of the district health clinics are still managing with older ambulances but we plan to slowly phase them out as soon as replacements are made available,” he said.
Ismail also commended the state health department for coming up with several initiatives including the management of ambulances through a call centre and training courses for ambulance drivers to update their skills.
“The maintenance of vehicles are a priority as these ambulances are a community need. No one wants an ambulance to break down during an emergency,” he said.