Abia Emergency Service is free for all subscribers - Commisioner of Health

Posted by Factnews | 7 years ago | 2,947 times

The Abia state Commisioner of health, Dr. C J Ahukanna, has stated that the recently launched emergency Medical Services will be free to all subscribers of the Abia state Health Insurance scheme.


The Commisioner who spoke exclusively to Factnewsonline during an interview in Umuahia, said  the medical service which is aimed at offering emergency care to Abians in far to reach places  and who obviously cannot immediately access health care facilities. He noted that the services which will be modelled after the 911 emergency service run in the United States, with 717 as the pilot number across all telecommunication networks.


He further noted that the service would be marketed aggressively to encourage Abians to enrol in the scheme for free services.

“Our health insurance scheme is about being rolled out, as a matter of fact, I understand it has been passed into law and it is now for the governor to accent to it and then it becomes operational. 


“Everything to get it off the ground is in place. We have the offices; we do have the personnel, with a chief executive. We have also recruited the health management organization who should help us run it and then once the Governor accents  to the bill and provide the seed fund, we roll. 

“People would be encouraged to subscribe to it because you never know when you would have emergencies that would require you needing such services. We would also give room for those who might want to pay out of pocket. 

“However we would market it aggressively for them to sign unto the insurance scheme. Don’t forget these equipment are expensive, if they have to be moved, there must be a good reason for doing so,” He said.

The Commissioner added that “the way we have mapped it out to run is, if there is a call out in any of the locations to the dedicated Emergency number (717) the trained staff who takes the call decides on whether specialized equipment will be sent to deal with the situation or whether its something we can advise and manage over the phone. Most times, it is not always that these motorized equipments would need to go to such sites. 

“And of course there will be two outcomes, that is; either they deal with the problem as it is there, if the fellow is still alive and if it’s something simple, and then upscale the patient to his primary health centre. If its not as simple as expected, their job will be to ferry this patient across to the nearest urgent care centre which most likely will be our tertiary care facilities either Absuth Aba or Umuahia. That’s what we want to do. That way we do hope we should be able to reduce the number of avoidable deaths from clearly manageable conditions.”

The chief executive of the Abia State Emergency Medical Services, Dr. Chukwuemeka Nwakanma, on his part, gave a run down of how the service would run.

“Basically, if there’s an accident or somebody is sick somewhere, they call emergency centre via 717. Once information is given to the call centre personnel, the call taker reports to the ambulance team with the necessary information. We have trackers in each of the ambulances to help us know the location of the ambulance at every point in time. 

“The closest ambulance is sent to the Victim. As soon as they get to the location, the health officers would determine which hospital to take the patient to depending on the severity of the injury or illness. They are expected to start treatment at the scene and enroute the urgent care centre. They will also be in touch with the hospital’s physician or staff about what they are doing, the condition of the patient and how long it will take them to get to the care centre. If it’s something that happened at home, we will try to get the information as much as we can. Same procedure is followed.”

He added that “there are plans to have in each of the zones what we call acute care hospitals or specialty hospitals that should be able to take care of serious injuries or diseases.

"And while they are enroute to this facility, the patient is stabilized. Care is given. As they arrive the urgent care centre, they would have painted a picture of where they went, what they saw, what they’ve done and then hand over the patient for continuation of care at those care centers".

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