Korea gives 10 ambulances worth over $1m

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister for Political Affairs of Republic of Korea Yeo Seung-bae handing over new ambulances to Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete at the Civic Center yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Ten ambulances worth more than $1million were given to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to aid in the country’s emergency services and ensure timely and effective response.

The ambulances were locally revamped and converted from Hyundai H1 vehicles to fully equipped emergency vehicles.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister for Political Affairs of the Republic of Korea Yeo Seung-bae said through the KOICA Fiji office, the Korean government’s development cooperation with Fiji had set to improve the healthcare system as one of their priority areas.

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said with Fiji’s healthcare system evolving the ambulances would enhance preparedness for future health crises.

“We witnessed the increase in demand for ambulance services and our ambulances are often on the move,” he said.

“At the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in Fiji, ambulance services were in high demand for transporting COVID-19 patients to and fro isolation facilities but even cases such as heart attacks, diabetes complications and trauma.

“Our ambulances have traversed through rugged and rough terrains around the country to access our remote communities such as the highlands and interior of Navosa, Naitasiri and rural villages.”

He said ambulance numbers had decreased because of traversing in rugged areas and motor vehicle accidents, however, the ministry was fortunate to receive support from outside partners.

“We are thankful to the partners in the private sector that are supporting us in which we are also outsourcing some of the ambulances we have.”

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