The number of ambulance teams is increased in the country to ensure more efficient provision of ambulance services. There are plans to establish up to 4 additional permanent ambulance teams in each ambulance station of 5 regions of the country – Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Panevėžys and Šiauliai, that not only provide services but also manage ambulance forces.
This means that when necessary it will be possible to direct the ambulance teams belonging, for example, to Kaunas city ambulance station to Raseiniai, Jurbarkas or other location in the region where they will be needed at the time.
According to Odeta Vitkūnienė, the Acting Chancellor of the Ministry of Health, this decision is intended to significantly strengthen capacity of the ambulance service in saving and protecting lives of those who had a stroke or heart attack, who suffered multiple serious injuries or faced other chronic malaises.
"We need to ensure that patients, no matter where they live, either in the city or town, have equal access to qualified medical care as soon as possible whenever it is needed. Thus, after having considered the problems encountered in managing ambulance forces, and seeking to provide prompt and high quality emergency medical care, we made a timely decision to increase the number of ambulance teams. This will allow to save more lives each year", - says the Chancellor O. Vitkūnienė.
Furthermore, according to the Acting Chancellor O. Vitkūnienė, despite the fact that the current ambulance stations say that their existing capacity will allow them to cope with new challenges smoothly, the ministry sees risks in connection with the lack of human resources and huge workloads. Preparatory work on improving the payment for the ambulance services is, therefore, ongoing, by linking to the implementation of this innovation.
Funds for the extra ambulance teams intended to reduce deaths and other serious consequences from heart attacks, strokes and injuries have already been foreseen in advance – this will be funded from the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund. The increased number of ambulance teams is expected to improve access to the services for people living in remote areas, and frequency of deaths from heart attack, stroke and other acute illnesses will decrease.
These innovations that are projected by the order of the Minister of Health Aurelijus Veryga will take effect on the 2nd of September.
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