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HMC’s Ambulance Services well-prepared to assist in any disaster situation: Darwish
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HMC’s Ambulance Services well-prepared to assist in any disaster situation: Darwish

Ashraf Siddiqui
Doha
The whole staff of ambulance service in Qatar are well-trained, well-prepared and well-equipped to assist in any kind of unforeseen national disaster, including coronavirus (COVID-19),Assistant Executive Director of Ambulance Services Department at Hamad Medical CorporationAli Darwish has said.
Talking to Qatar Tribune, Darwishsaid,"Each and every member of Ambulance Service Department believes in and always actas per the department’s mission and vision."
He expressed his gratitude to the Qatari leadership and the government for their concern, keen interest and generous financial support to the Ambulance Services Department in achieving its position as one of the world’s top class highly professional and diversified services provider.
Darwish, who opted for professional career as para-medic with Ambulance Services and has deep passion in maintaining his para-medic licence, said, "We get full support and cooperation for training, uniform of para-medical staff, world-class equipment, vehicles equipped with latest integrated technology like OPTIMA, EVPS, etc. and adequate supply of medication for patients, with the objective of providing second to noneservices to the society."
Talking on Ambulance Services role during COVID-19pandemic, he said,upon directives of the Steering Committee,within 24 hours of the virus outbreak the department was ready along with necessary required equipment, precautionary measures, in-house swabbing and screening, sanitising and disinfection of equipment, vehicles as well as simplified rules to handle the situation. 
He said,"Due to the regular Key Performance Indicators (KPI)monitoring, we divided para-medic staff into various groups like those handling physical contact and those in charge of office support. We also had some people staying at home to follow up the government rules. These arrangements helped the Ambulance Services in assisting during pandemic till today as well as preventing the spread of diseases.
"On the instructions of the Steering Committee, we played a strategic role as frontline para-medic force.  In the beginning, Ambulance Services deployed 30 ambulances across Qatar, supervised andsanitised quarantine areas,transferred COVID-19 patients from airport or homes to quarantinecentres, and health centres or from health centres to quarantine facilities.
He also lauded doctors and nurses of Mobile Health Service (MHS), a section within Ambulance Service Department deployed at airport for swabbing and screening of large number of incoming passengers, transferring affected persons to health centres and quarantines facilities,and providing ambulance stations at various locations for swabbing and screening of general public.  
"Side by side the COVID-19 emergency, our main routine operation was not disturbed at any time, including Schedule Ambulance Service (SAS) and permanent patients transferring for routine procedures, including dialysis patients," Darwish said.  
He said since restriction relaxation phases started however, around five percent of ambulances and staff have been reallocated to public areas like beaches, hotels and museums.
He said despite thecoronaviruschallenges, there was no single severely affected member of the team.
He said, "However, providing assistance, social and psychological support is very important at this stage to keep the staff stand and charged so that they are available to provide their services at this crucial stage of pandemic. Some self-motivated re-scheduled their vacations to keep them available in pandemic emergency situation.
"We are statistic driven organisation.We don’t dream at night and wake up in morning and deploy our resources.We rely on statistics, we rely on KPI and on computerisedevidence. Our operation distribution model depends on statistics combined with professional input."

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