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KOTA KINABALU: Several hospitals in the state have installed their ambulances with a GPS tracking system as part of efforts to improve the medical service system.

The system is currently implemented in Sabah Women and Children’s Hospital, Likas, Kota Belud hospital, Kudat hospital, Kuala Penyu hospital and the Telupid Health Clinic.

According to Sabah Women and Children’s Hospital’s head of the Emergency Physician, Dr Cheah Phee Kheng, the Ambulance GPS Tracking System is currently used in the hospital’s Covid-19 Operation Centre to track the real-time situation of each ambulance.

It is a pilot project to enhance the management of ambulances, to improve the medical service system and thus increasing patient’s survival rate, Dr Cheah said when briefing Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon on Friday.

According to Dr Cheah, the three main objectives of introducing a GPS tracking system for ambulances are for safety, inter-facility transfer and monitoring 999 ambulance calls.

“For the safety aspect, it is to monitor movement of ambulance, making sure the team is safe and arrive by stipulated time, report out of ordinary occurrences such as breakdown, speeding, prolonged driving (fatigue of driver), overuse and servicing of each ambulance unit.

“In the inter-facility transfer aspect, it is for clinical data collection. Sending and receiving hospital updates, real time information of patient condition available online to receiving hospital when updated online by team in the ambulance,” he said.

The 999 Ambulance calls, Dr Cheah said, are for data collection on cases, response time and procedures done as well as identification of high ambulance call times and locations.

Meanwhile, Poon said the Ambulance GPS Tracking System is greatly appreciated, adding that “the built-in functions are complete; it not only tracks the real-time location of the ambulance but also provides more real-time information to the rescuers so that they can improve the survival rate of patients.”

“There is still much room for discussion to further expand the improvement to other aspects in the future to benefit the people in Sabah,” he said.

Poon contributed to the purchase of equipment, such as photocopy machine, semi-auto sprayer and battery, cupboard, TV for information dashboard, fans, refrigerator, folding tables etc., to help to set up the Covid-19 Operation Centre (Trauma & Emergency Centre) at Sabah Women and Children’s Hospital, Likas, to enhance the smooth operation of the centre.

Earlier Poon handed over some equipment to the hospital’s Covid-19 Operation Centre which was lacking in certain equipment.

The request for the equipment was made by Eddie Lai Kim Fong, deputy chairman of Sabah Women and Children’s Hospital, Likas, Board of Visitors.

Poon was also briefed by Dr Cheah about the situation of Muslims at work during Ramadhan and the problems encountered by frontline medical staff when wearing personal protective equipment at work.

Poon also contributed food for the frontline medical staff’s iftar on the first day of Ramadhan.

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