Staff recruitment a stumbling block to increasing capital’s ambulances

By Yin Yeping Source:Global Times Published: 2013-1-22 0:18:01

New proposals to increase the number of ambulances in Beijing may fail as it is extremely difficult to recruit crew, emergency service providers said. 

Beijing health authorities released new rules on the management of the capital's emergency services Monday, which will take effect from February 1.

"We will upgrade the current standard of one ambulance per 50,000 people to one per 30,000," said Ma Yanming, media officer of the Beijing Health Bureau. To serve the city's 20 million people, 200 more ambulances are needed. 

Rescue organizations will also not need to wait for a plate in the city's car lottery scheme to buy a new ambulance. 

But Li Jianren, media officer of the 120 Beijing Emergency Rescue Center, said staff recruitment due to low wages is more of a dilemma.  

"Adding ambulances is not a problem, but since we can't recruit enough paramedics, this new rule might not tackle the problems," he said.

There are around 600 emergency ambulances in Beijing between the 120 and the 999 Red Cross Emergency Rescue Center, said Li.

However, Li would not be drawn on the salary paramedics are paid, only saying the salary was around 3,000 yuan ($482) a month in 2008.

"Not being able to recruit enough medical staff is the major problem that affects the progress of our work," Li said.

The new rules include banning non-local ambulances from doing local rescue work, stopping drivers using their sirens when not on an emergency call, and ensuring they follow traffic rules.

Staff from Haidian hospital sent a 120 ambulance with sirens blaring to bring medics back from a noodle restaurant, the South China Morning Post reported on December 31, 2012.


Posted in: Society, Metro Beijing

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