Islandwide emergency ambulance service from next year

The emergency Pre-Hospital Care Ambulance Service now available in the Western and Southern Provinces free of charge, will be expanded covering the entire country by next year, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said.

According to Minister Senaratne, currently there are 88 ambulances in service and this number will be increased to 250. Steiger Foundation of Germany will provide 24 helicopters, 1,025 ambulances and 24 emergency vehicles. But only helicopters and emergency vehicles were obtained by Sri Lanka considering the existing road traffic congestion in the country. He was addressing the gathering after distributing first aid equipment among schools and MOH offices during a ceremony held in Colombo recently.

Minister Senaratne pointed out that sometimes ambulances could not travel through roads due to traffic congestion and therefore accident services in Sri Lanka need to be implemented by air and land. New accident wards are to be established in 24 General Hospitals and Teaching Hospitals located island wide. A total of 48 blood transfusion centres have already been established island wide.

A total of 43 percent accidents take place at home, while 26 percent of the accidents take place on roads from the total number of accidents that take place in the country. Two percent of the total number of accidents take place at workplaces. Around 10,000 accidents take place in Sri Lanka annually, he added.

The first hour of the accident is called the `Golden Hour’ due to the importance of it to save the life of a victim. The first ten minutes of the first hour is the most crucial time period when it comes to saving the life of the accident victim. About 50 percent of accident deaths can be cut down if required medical care can be given to the accident victims during this time. 


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