Monday 15 July, 2019

SRHA lauded by Tufton for converting mini-buses into ambulances

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton (right) checks out one of the new ambulances along with the Vice Chairman of the SRHA Board, Michael Stern (centre) and Dimitri South, who represented Member of Parliament for North East Manchester, Audley Shaw at the handing over ceremony.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton (right) checks out one of the new ambulances along with the Vice Chairman of the SRHA Board, Michael Stern (centre) and Dimitri South, who represented Member of Parliament for North East Manchester, Audley Shaw at the handing over ceremony.

A move by the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) to address the ambulance shortage plaguing the health industry has earned praise from the portfolio minister, Dr Christopher Tufton.

SRHA officials countered the resource problem by converting three mini-buses into ambulances.

In a statement, Tufton, the Minister of Health and Wellness, lauded SRHA for what he said was an innovative initiative that resulted in savings of more that $10 million.

"The initiative has not only boosted the operations of medical practitioners but it has also resulted in the savings," Tufton said.

"These ambulances are saving up to $4 million per unit and that is good because we live in a country where resources are short and therefore we have to apply our intelligent capacity to be creative," the health minister added, noting that "the region (SRHA) through its stakeholder consultation partnership has demonstrated that leadership and we need more of it.” 

The three ambulances are valued at more than $30 million, with each unit costing more than $10 million. A new ambulance would cost $14 million and a delivery time of six months; however, the retrofitted ambulances have a shortened delivery time of eight weeks, Tufton said.

Each retrofitted ambulance is equipped with a heart monitor, a dash cam, stainless hand wash sink with soap dispenser, suction machines, ECG machine, stainless steel dustbin, fog lamps, emergency lights, double nurses seats, fire extinguisher, oxygen, bench, stretcher, storage area, non-stick flooring, inverter, in addition to cupboards to store vital medical equipment.

The dash cam, which is a new feature, acts as a rear view mirror, a camera for the front of the vehicle as well as a monitoring camera to track the vehicle. 

The specifications were added following consultation with the primary users of the ambulances and are expected to give at least 10 years of good service.

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