I refer to the news report by Daily Express that a man had died in his car due to cardiac arrest, and that the hospital’s ambulance dispatched by MERS999 had only arrived an hour after the call.
I find the delay in the arrival of an ambulance to the scene in Kolombong very regrettable. A life could have been saved if the emergency medical service had been dispatched and had arrived way earlier.
I had last year raised in Parliament the issue of the delay in emergency response after a MERS999 call was made by the public. A family of four perished in a fire in Taman Hungab as a result of the delay in arrival by the fire brigade.
In an emergency, every second counts. The longer the delay, the higher the likelihood a precious life would be lost forever.
There are reasons why emergency services are deemed part of a country’s strategic asset as they play a role no different from that of a country’s defence in that it is supposed to save lives.
With such an unacceptable delay of up to an hour just to dispatch an ambulance to the scene, one wonders whether we are still stuck in a third world where the government does not even care about the lives of the people.
I hereby urge MERS999 to provide a detailed report as to the delay in arrival of the ambulance and medical services.
Is it due to the lack of exact location? Is it due to the lack of ambulances? Is it due to lack of manpower?
Or is it due to sheer nonchalance and lack of the sense of urgency by the call centre?
In the Klang Valley, users of RapidKL buses are able to track the arrival of their buses through a mobile app utilising Global Positioning System (GPS) system.
Elsewhere, and even here in Sabah, road users have been using GPS apps such as Google Maps and Waze to get to their destination, and they are also able to easily share location using WhatsApp or Facebook.
The emergency response system in Malaysia is so unreliable that some have even reached a stage that they would rather call a Grab car than to call the ambulance in the event of a medical emergency.
This is clearly shameful on the part of the emergency services as the public would see them as being useless to society.
Therefore, it is time that MERS999 make use of such GPS technology to reduce delay in the existing MERS999 emergency services, failing which MERS999 may end up redundant and the people end up being disillusioned at the government machinery, which can only then be described as a failed government.
Chan Foong Hin is the Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.