Plan to cut deaths on highways
by Le Ha
HA NOI — Viet Nam plans to build emergency clinics along national highways to reduce accident-related fatalities, which number about 11,000 each year.
|Emergency work at the scene of a traffic accident on National Highway 4D near Phong Tho District, Lai Chau Province, in April. First-aid stations on the road are expected to help reduce accident-related fatalities in Viet Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Cong Hai
The transport and health ministries hope that with the presence of clinics on highways, paramedics can reach an accident scene within 10-15 minutes.
Thirty-one first-aid stations will be built across the nation by 2020.
Deputy director of the Ministry of Transport's Health Department Pham Thanh Lam hailed the project as crucial.
"Accident victims are currently forced to take care of themselves, and to some degree count on initial support from people nearby. If they are lucky enough, someone calls emergency services and they are taken to the nearest medical facility," Lam said.
Medical establishments on the road would do much to improve this desperate situation.
He cited a clinic along the Sai Gon – Trung Luong Highway, which started operating in 2010, as an example.
Last June, a bus accident injured 16 people. Medical workers were able to give 11 victims timely first-aid and transport them to Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City.
Lam also said that another clinic would be completed soon on the Cau Gie (Ha Noi) – Ninh Binh Highway.
Le Minh Chau, deputy director of the Transport Ministry's Safety Department, said that while hospitals and clinics were dispersed throughout the country, they were typically far from highways, and lacked paramedics.
Based on advanced models from foreign countries as well as practices in Viet Nam, Lam said emergency clinics should be connected to the emergency centre 115, hospitals, and the road rescuing centre.
These clinics should be built in the places where traffic accidents occur most frequently, he suggested.
The facilities should be designed as a combination emergency rescue shelter and filling station, and should also be placed where weary passengers can take a breather.
According to the project's Steering Committee, vast land areas are required to build the clinics.
The Government and relevant agencies must appeal to residents for land clearance sites, which would pose a big difficulty.
Deputy Minister Hung said that "Viet Nam can reduce 10 per cent of deaths each year, according to experts' calculations, as long as collaborators such as drivers, traffic police, and traffic inspectors are trained adequately and emergency clinics across the country are all built on schedule. These measures will also significantly decrease injury rates."
According to statistics from the National Traffic Safety Committee, traffic accidents are a major cause of road fatalities in Viet Nam, accounting for 95 per cent of all deaths. — VNS