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Huge increase in Health Service Transport fleet

The councillor for health Maria Angeles Palacios last week presented the details of the new vehicles that will be available for the Murcia Health Service with good news for patients and residents of the province.

The new vehicles fleet numbers represents a 34% increase over those available at the time of the last public tender in 2004. In total 5 types of vehicles will be available to meet the different needs of patients in the region and the budget for providing the transport services has increased to 47.5 million Euros, up 6 million Euros on last years budget provision.

The fleet of vehicles will number 294 in total. Of these 13 will be UME vehicles (Unidades Medicalizadas de Emergencias) which will be based in Murcia, Alcantarilla, Molina de Segura, 2 in Cartagena, Mazarron, Torre Pacheco, La Manga, Lorca, Įguilas, Cieza, Caravaca de la Cruz and Yecla.

These vehicles will be equipped with the latest state of the art life saving equipment and are available 24 hours a day every day of the year. Each has a team of 4 specially trained personnel, a doctor, paramedic, driver and a technician.

There will also be seven inter-hospital vital support vehicles located at the hospitals Reina Sofia, Rosell, Los Arcos, Rafael Mendez, Comarcal del Noroeste, Cieza and Yecla. These vehicles are used to transport critically ill patients between hospitals with most cases being transferred to La Arrixaca. They are also available 24 hours a day all year round.

The other 40 ambulances fall into the Basic support category and are used by the primary health centres in the region to move patients who may required medical attention en route to hospital. Each ambulance has the necessary technology to give the patient complete medical support in the event of an emergency, including respiratory equipment cardiovascular equipment and much more. The ambulances operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and are managed by the emergency 112 service.

In the new fleet there are also 43 vehicles to be used by people who require urgent medical intervention. These will be used to move patients to the nearest medical centre or hospital, as long as the patient does not require medical attention during the journey. Of the 43 vehicles, 30 are available throughout the year, 24 hours a day and an additional 7 vehicles work a 12 hour shift. The remaining 6 are used as back up in the busy periods of the year, such as the summer season.

Completing the fleet are the 174 vehicles assigned to each region service one of the 9 main hospitals and their catchment areas, plus 17 vehicles in reserve. These are dedicated to moving chronically ill patients, taking patients for therapeutic treatments and for patients requiring radiotherapy, physiotherapy, chemotherapy, diagnostic tests or special consultancy services.

The extensive new fleet aims to meet the medical needs of all the patients in the Murcia region, making access to treatment easier and better service a priority for all.

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