Family Medical Practice invests in new ambulance fleet for emergency response

Family Medical Practice has announced the investment of $800,000 into four new ambulances to augment its state-of-the-art vehicle fleet that services residents of Ho Chi Minh City every day.

This brings the company's total investment into emergency care in the city to over $2 million, and ensures near-citywide coverage for incidents and accidents for the second city's residents.

The four additional Mercedes Benz Sprinter 2500 ambulances bring the company's total fleet to eight. Each ambulance is equipped with automatic CPR machines, monitored defibrillators, stair chairs, large-capacity portable oxygen tanks, fast vacuum splints, trauma kits, floodlights, and full telecommunications links between dispatch and ambulance to monitor patient vital signs.

Each vehicle is similar to a mobile ICU, staffed by professional teams who maintain a constant telemedicine communications link with the alarm center and the emergency teams in the clinic.

Family Medical Practice’s founder, Dr. Rafi Kot, said of the investment: "These are simply the finest ambulances on the road in Vietnam today. No other company has made such an investment into Vietnam's emergency care."

The ambulances play a central role in the *9999 EMR system that Family Medical Practice launched in 2016.

"It is worth noting that we have earmarked another $1.5 million for further investment in our fleet. Our goal is to eventually have a fleet of some 26 vehicles for Ho Chi Minh City in the near future. However, under current Vietnamese legislation, there is no recognition of the paramedic profession, and this hampers our ability to resource our fleet. Amendments to this oversight – which no other country imposes – will see us rapidly invest further into this industry, and importantly, offer citizens of Vietnam far superior early intervention and emergency care," Dr. Kot continued.

Indeed, Vietnam has an urgent need for improved and enhanced emergency care. The country notably has an alarmingly high rate of road casualties and traffic incidents. In 2016, there were 3,962 traffic accidents in Ho Chi Minh City with 805 people killed and 3,204 people seriously injured, an increase of 5.5 per cent over the same period of 2015.

EMR services are also invaluable with cardiac arrests, which increase by 15-20 per cent each year; strokes, which take around 200,000 lives each year; and even drownings, which take a frightening 32 Vietnamese lives each day. All of these can be reduced with early intervention and superior emergency care.

*9999 leads the way in offering this service to people in Ho Chi Minh City, with the emergency hotline number offering bilingual services to Vietnamese citizens and foreign residents for prices as low as VND575,000 ($25.3) per person for a full year. Subscription to the EMR *9999 service will entitle the subscriber to unlimited 24/7 emergency call service from anywhere in Ho Chi Minh City, with proven life-saving support and response protocols – including free ambulance transportation and emergency care en route – within  the Ho Chi Minh City coverage zone.

"We opted for this rate to make our services accessible to everyone here," Dr. Kot said. "Call-out fees for non-subscribers start from VND1.84 million ($81.04) , so we really do urge everyone to subscribe to protect themselves and their families."

Family Medical Practice, the first foreign-operated, multi-disciplinary primary medical health care provider in Vietnam, opened in Hanoi in 1994 and owns and operates five modern clinics based in Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City. It is the only private medical provider in Vietnam with such national coverage. All Family Medical Practice clinics have fully-equipped ambulances described as “state-of-the-art emergency medical units” on standby 24 hours a day.

By Hoang Anh