KOTA KINABALU: Emergency services via air has helped save hundreds of lives.
The services provided under the Emergency Retrieval Unit (ERU) has flown over 800 patients statewide since it was introduced by the Likas Women and Children’s Hospital in 2011.
Health deputy director-general Datuk Dr Jeyaindran Sinnadurai said while the transportation of patients from one district to another in cases of emergency has been available for quite some time, the rate of patients dying during transit is still high.
“Thus, the ERU was set up for better retrieval services to solve the problem,” he said during the 16th Sabah Clinical Conference recently.
Dr Jeyaindran said with the setting up of the ERU, the patients’ condition has improved and this has saved many lives, especially those in rural areas.
“We need to conduct a more in-depth study on how to improve this service and work together with the security forces in using their helicopters for this purpose,” he said.
He added the ERU personnel are skilled in the field of transport and aviation medicine, and this facility could be expanded to other states especially Sarawak.
Dr Jeyaindran said the Health Ministry is also looking at the possibility of setting up a sea emergency retrieval unit for Labuan in the future, if there was a need.
Meanwhile, Dr Jeyaindran more Malaysians are volunteering overseas during disasters.
“This is good but we may require them to register with the Health Ministry, among others, to get the necessary training before leaving” he said.
Dr Jeyaindran said this was to also ensure that qualified individuals provide assistance at disaster zones.
A simulation exercise on the procedures to transport Ebola patients was also conducted during the conference.