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Ambulance fleet in Shanghai to hit 500 by 2010
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-11-08 14:34
Shanghai will add 100 vehicles to its ambulance fleet by the end of the year, officials said yesterday.

This undated photo shows Shanghai local donates a ambulance to a village clinic.(Xinhua Photo)

Shanghai will add 100 vehicles to its ambulance fleet by the end of the year, officials said yesterday.

Announcing a bold plan to streamline the public health system, Shanghai Health Bureau officials said the existing fleet of 315 would be 500-strong within three years.

They said the extra vehicles would drastically improve response times, and predicted emergency arrival times would drop to within eight to 10 minutes downtown, and 10 to 15 minutes on the city outskirts.

The officials were addressing a meeting promoting health and development for the city.

To improve the emergency service network, the city will enhance digital communications contact between ambulances and hospitals.

Dedicated channels would be set up for critical patients.

Some big hospitals will also establish helipads for medical emergency landings.

"As a big city with a dense population, we should improve our ability to handle urgent public health concerns," said Xu Jianguang, director of Shanghai Health Bureau.

"As we enter winter, local health systems should be aware of serious respiratory diseases and enhance staff training and drill procedures.

"All medical facilities with monitoring spots for respiratory diseases should keep alert."

The plan also involved constructing clinics in the city's outskirts, promoting cooperation between neighborhood health centers and superior hospitals, and enhancing traditional Chinese medicine services.

By the end of the year, bureau officials said there would be 400 clinics in farm areas, four medical centers to treat pregnant women and breast cancer screening for 300,000 retired women and women from needy families.

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