The average time for Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Ambulance Service to respond to emergency calls in Qatar is faster than the target set by Qatar’s first National Health Strategy in 2011, it was announced on Monday.

In 2018, HMC’s Ambulance Service responded to approximately 115,000 priority one calls – the most urgent category of calls – in an average time of seven minutes within Doha and 8.2 minutes in rural areas of Qatar.

Brendon Morris, executive director of HMC’s Ambulance Service, highlighted the importance of ambulance teams arriving in time to provide what is often lifesaving care. “In a medical emergency, every second counts. When someone’s life is in the balance, it is vital that our paramedics are able to get to them as fast as possible and begin administering medical treatment,” explained Morris.

“The National Health Strategy 2011-2016 set clear response time targets for the Ambulance Service and I am incredibly proud that we have consistently met, and even exceeded, these targets for the past eight years,” added Morris.

These impressive response times have been achieved despite an increase in the number of calls received by the service year on year. In recent years, the Ambulance Service has expanded the LifeFlight Service, introduced a new state-of-the-art ambulance fleet and built dispatch points around the country. These steps have enabled the service to reach patients quickly, regardless of their location.

This week the Ambulance Service relaunched its ‘Know the 5 to save a life’ national awareness campaign, aimed at educating the public about the key actions to take when calling an ambulance in an emergency situation. The campaign’s ‘Know the 5 to save a life’ messages are:Dial 999 immediately; Know your location; Answer all questions; Follow all instructions and Give way to ambulances.

“This is the third time we have run the campaign and it is vital that we continue to remind members of the public of the importance of following the ‘Know the 5’ instructions,” explained Ali Darwish, assistant executive director of the Ambulance Service.

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