Sri Lanka emergency ambulance paramedic service with 1990 toll free number
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has formally launched an emergency service with paramedics on call by dialling 1990, with technical assistance and a 7.6 million dollar grant from India.
India is training 250 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or paramedics who will man the ambulances with 250 especially trained drivers.
"This is a service that is much needed by the people and a timely one indeed," Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said at the launch of the service on Thursday.
The service is first deployed in the Western and Southern provinces with a command and control centre in Rajagiriya Colombo.
"It is in that first golden hour that care must be administered in emergency situations," Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.
"..[G]iven that these pre-hospital care ambulances are not only equipped with all the facilities to administer that pre-hospital care but also have highly trained personnel whose knowledge enables that care, is truly the difference between a life and death situation."
The emergency service can be reached by dialling the short code 1990, toll free.
"While Sri Lanka’s healthcare is well ahead of the region..the only lacuna that existed was in gaining timely access to emergency ambulances with trained para-medical staff," Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Harsha De Silva who proposed the idea to India during a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"This world class fully equipped ambulance service manned by certified medical technicians can now get to the emergency location in under 30 minutes, stabilize and transport the patient to the nearest appropriate state sector hospital."
The emergency service is based on a model developed in India as a public private partnership with GVK EMRI, which developed as a corporate social responsibility project of India’s GVK group.
"It is indeed a matter of great honor and fulfillment to be a part of this historic moment of commencement of Emergency Management Services in Sri Lanka," GVK group chief G V K Reddy said.
"I am personally indebted to both the Honorable Prime Ministers of India and Sri Lanka for their trust placed in GVK EMRI in realizing this dream of implementing 1990 Emergency Services in Lanka." (Colombo/July28/2016)