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Emergency: More ambulances on the way

. The Ministry of Health is streng- thening the ambulance services at gov- ernment hospitals to enable them to cope with more emergency calls, an offi- cial spokesman told the Cyprus Weekly. The spokesman was replying to com- plaints that the ambulance service does not always respond to calls to help patients or Carry Injured people to hospital, especially it they are some distance away. He said that as a general rule: the ambu- lance services will respond ta emergency calls if it appears to the officer in charge atthe Casualty Department that an ambulance is essential in order to save someone's life. Sometimes an ambulance would not be a Oe Emergency: More ambulances on the way sent to a distant place if the patient could be transferred by other means of transport, be- cause another more serious emergency might occur and then an ambulance would not be available at the hospital. It was also pointed out that in the event of an accident it is sometimes better to gain time by using even a passing car to rush an injured person to the nearest hospital, instead of call- ing an ambulance to go to the place of the ac- cident some distance away. Hospitals do their best to cope with emergencies, but it is not possible to extend the ambulance service to all cases, it was added. For letter setting out the complaints and the Health Ministry's comment see page 2).