Provinces and cities across the country will have access to an emergency system via a single telephone number by 2015, according to Ministry of Health regulations.

The project aims to meet targets approved by the Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last month, to provide emergency aid to road traffic accidents by 2020.

The project will give first aid and transport traffic victims to the nearest medical stations, in an effort to reduce the rate of fatalities.

Under the project, an emergency centre for traffic accident will be piloted, supported by qualified medical staff and available by calling 115. From 2015, all drivers will also be required to be certified in first aid to help deal with traffic accidents.

The ministry is also seeking to increase the number of medical facilities to cope with traffic accidents. By the end of the year, two emergency stations will be built on the Hanoi-Lao Cai Highway with a further two being added on the Hanoi-Thai Nguyen Highway. An additional station will also be built on the HCM City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Highway.

Under the plan, stations will cooperate with medical stations and hospitals located nearby.

In a further effort, the Ministry of Transport is also joining with the Ministry of Health to provide 25 first-aid classes for medical workers and traffic police on main highways.

Traffic accidents are the main cause of injury in Vietnam, unhelped by the limited and fragmented provision of emergency services on roads across different localities, according to the Ministry of Transport.

Accidents occurring in larger cities such as Hanoi, HCM City, Hai Phong and Da Nang can be dealt with easily by calling the telephone number 115 and command a bigger supply of ambulances. Big cities have around 10 ambulances while each province has only 2-3 ambulances, many of which are outdated, according to ministry experts.

They also said that further disparities exist when comparing ambulance staffing across different areas. In the larger cities, ambulances were able to carry doctors on each ambulance, while provincial ambulances need to call for doctors from hospitals.

Doctors from the trauma wards of the Vietnam-Germany and Bach Mai hospitals and Military Hospital 103 believed that due to the limited number of ambulances, only 5-10 percent of traffic accident victims are receiving first aid in time.

Although traffic accidents have decreased, the number of serious trauma cases has not gone down, the doctors said.

Supposedly, the time frame of administering first aid and then transporting patients to central hospitals was not meeting demand, forcing many patients to be transported by motorbikes without first aid.-VNA