After 2 years of discussion and approval by the Senate, the federal government will start the emergency national ambulance service on Friday as the National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS) was officially launched.
This is disclosed by Felix Ogedegbe, the chairman of the, National Emergency Medical Treatment Committee (NEMTC), on Wednesday in Abuja
The FG stated that the ambulance operations which started on Friday is a pilot phase of the national ambulance service and will start in Abuja.
What he said:
Dr. stated. Felix Ogedegbe that the National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System committee was inaugurated four years ago and mandated to work on the rollout of the ambulance service for Nigeria.
He added that the move meant that Nigeria would become one of the countries in the world with emergency health services.
“So it is known that the way that Western countries or other countries have reduced these mortality figures and improved outcomes is to ensure that there is a good and active medical emergency service.
“Services come to help citizens when they need urgent emergency care.
“The minister of health wants to personally ensure that NEMSAS takes off in the country and becomes one of the established health entities that naturally provide care in Nigeria.”
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He added that the tests will start in Abuja, mentioning that a call to 112 will go straight to the emergency communication center which will then go to the medical dispatch system to get an ambulance to respond to the emergency.
“This is happening in the FCT; some private and public hospitals working together are selected as emergency treatment centers and some private and public emergency ambulance service providers are also selected.
“There are important issues here. People at risk of death or disability should not have to pay at the point of need.
“They should have the ability to call an ambulance and be treated and we hope and pray that all the lessons we learn from the pilot phase will be used to roll out this scheme in other parts of the country.”
What you should know
NEMSAS was designated by the National Health Act (NHA), with five percent of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund for Emergency Medical Treatment intended to provide urgent health services to Nigerians.
Nairametrics reported last year the federal government said it had set up a plan to launch a responsive national emergency medical service and ambulance system in a bid to promote universal healthcare for Nigerians.
The Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said “As part of the efforts towards UHC, we are also working to establish a functional and responsive National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System throughout the country to ensure that emergencies are well taken care of.
“This service is free of charge to end-users. In addition, we are working on the transformation of tertiary health care services throughout the country, including an active partnership with the private sector for achieving ot of quality health care,”he added.