Georgia upgrades its ambulance fleet

Georgia's government brought 180 new medically equipped ‘Ford’ brand ambulance vehicles will be proportionally distributed in the district centers., 30 Oct 2014 - 19:33, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is modernising its ambulance service. The country's ambulance fleet will undergo a complete overhaul and every vehicle will be replaced by the beginning of next year, an official said.

The Government has purchased 180 new medically equipped Ford model ambulance vehicles, which will be proportionally distributed to Georgia’s district centres.

The Health Ministry said it had begun this process and had already purchased and fitted 24 new vehicles to date. By the end of this year, it is estimated 220 old ambulances will be replaced by new service vehicles.

Health Minister Davit Segreenko emphasized that the new vehicles would be distributed to regions of the country where new ambulances were in most need.

Sergeenko said 10 percent of ambulances were up to one hour late to appointments in rural areas.

"This is not good. We should not have had a single case when an ambulance was late but this analysis let us identify the weak spots and work on them,” the Minister said.

An event presenting the new vehicles was attended by Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili and Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure David Shavliahsvili.

Garibashvili made a speech and said the new vehicles were "equipped in a modern manner” that included "all the conditions for safe transportation of the patients”.

"In 2005, Uaz model vehicles were given to the regions, which were but of order and at the same time, they were not owned by the state but by a private insurance company,” said the PM.

"Most of them are in poor condition therefore it is not safe to transport patients safely. Due to their condition, vehicles often used to stop on route, there were fatal cases.”

PM Garibashvili said car parks would be renovated across the country in all regions to accommodate parking spaces for the new ambulances.

"This is the part of our healthcare package, through which we provide care to our population's health," Garibashvili said.

In the change as well as upgrading the vehicles, ambulance staff uniforms will also be modernised.