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FSD agrees in principle to Ombudsman's investigation report

     The Fire Services Department (FSD) agrees in principle to the Ombudsman's investigation report released today (January 10) on "conveyance of patients by ambulance to area hospitals". The FSD also welcomes the Ombudsman's recognition of its adaptation of the "total patient care" approach in conveying patients to area hospitals.

     The approach refers to the conveyance of patients by ambulance to the appropriate hospitals for treatment within the shortest possible time in accordance with the scale, equipment and intake capacity, etc, of the hospitals. Hence, conveying patients to the nearest accident and emergency department solely based on the factors of travel distance and travel time cannot fully achieve the benefit of the "total patient care" approach.

     In view of the Ombudsman's proposal on further optimising the process of identification and conveyance of patients in critical condition, the FSD has been actively deliberating the issue with the Hospital Authority (HA) and both reached the consensus that conveying patients in critical condition in cases of cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest to the nearest accident and emergency departments is the most feasible proposal. Although the HA's classification on patients in critical condition is not limited to the above two situations, the FSD agrees that the aforementioned arrangement is a pragmatic and practicable proposal for ambulance personnel to convey patients to the nearest accident and emergency departments with the simplest judgement after taking into account that the medical equipment, first aid skills and medical procedures of the ambulance personnel at the scene are not as favourable as those of the medical personnel of the accident and emergency departments.

     To cope with the implementation of the above proposal, the FSD needs to conduct relevant research and make procedural amendments, and hopes that the aforesaid proposal can be firmed up as soon as possible.

     Based on the established communication mechanism with the HA, the FSD will continue to review the definition of patients in critical condition who should be sent to the nearest hospitals in accordance with the scale and change in the intake capacity of the hospitals, enhancement in the skill levels of the ambulancemen and the updating of pre-hospital ambulance equipment.

Ends/Thursday, January 10, 2013
Issued at HKT 12:02


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