Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Health

Health minister aims to decrease ambulance response times

By Staff reporter

THE health ministry is doing everything in its power to make sure ambulances arrive on time to save lives, Health Minister Philippos Patsalis said yesterday speaking at the kick-off event for road safety.

The minister said that for efforts to be successful everybody needed to work together. “We at the health ministry are ready to cooperate with everyone to ensure, in a team spirit, the best possible result for our society,” he said.

He said the ministry was collaborating with the Road Safety Authority to halve road deaths by 2020.

Patsalis said the ministry had fitted ambulances with GPS to better navigate traffic and decrease response time.

“The success and the effectiveness of pre-hospital care depend upon the knowledge, training and skills of hospital personnel, police officers and firemen,” said Patsalis.

“To that end, the health ministry has organised a number of seminars and training exercises, aiming to improve the knowledge and skills of the personnel.”

Ambulance response time has always been a major problem for Cyprus. For communities outside major urban areas is not uncommon for rescuers to wait between 30 minutes and 45 minutes for an ambulance, compared with a 19-minute timeframe that is internationally accepted as a response target.

The UK’s national health service actually aims for the very demanding 8-minute response time for immediately life-threatening calls.

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