EMERGENCY MEDICAL AND AMBULANCE SERVICES IN HONG KONG
DIAL 999 TO CALL AN AMBULANCE IN HONG KONG
- 911 has also been made accessible for North American tourists
- The Bahamas have over 700 islands (about 30 are inhabited) with most emergency medical services concentrated in the capital Nassau (New Providence) and Grand Bahama
- On many of the islands there are no formal emergency services, but for those that are populated services are available
HOW CAN I CALL AN AMBULANCE IN HONG KONG?
DIAL 999 TO CALL AN AMBULANCE IN HONG KONG
- Dialing 999 will connect you with the fire department’s central communications center which will take your information and forward your call to the nearest appropriate dispatch center
Yes. 999 is available across Hong Kong through the Fire Services Department, which are divided in two regions further split into four subdivisions. Each division has “approximately 300-400 staff in 4-7 ambulance depots” (Graham 2009).
SEARCH AND RESCUE IN HONG KONG is provided by the Government Flying Service
You should still call 999 during disasters, as Hong Kong’s unified command center can be turned into an emergency operations center (EOC) during large scale events.
In addition to coverage by the Fire Services, there are also volunteer EMS organizations that provide disaster response and relief services:
- St. John Ambulance: Dial 1878 000 for 24-hour free emergency response
- An independent volunteer organization which provides medical services during disasters and public events (civic and sporting); first aid training; and dental services to persons with special needs.
- The Auxiliary Medical Service: Dial 2762 2033 for their 24-hour Inquiry Hotline
- A volunteer government organization that provides back-up and on-call medical services for disasters and major public events — during the 2013 SARS outbreak they supported infection surveillance programs at airports and ports
Yes. It is required to have completed formal training prior to working on an ambulance in Hong Kong. There are several levels of training available for emergency responders:
Emergency Medical Assistant I (EMA I) – Most basic level; requires 760 hours of lecture and practical instruction in basic life support (BLS) and medical aid
EMA II – Certified by JIBC (Canada); includes 20 weeks instruction in:
- AED use; IV cannulation; Infusion of Normal Saline, 10% Dextrose; IM injection of thiamine, glucagons and naloxone; SL nitro; nebulized salbutamol and ipratropium;
- Some have received training in: LMA and Combitube®; Direct laryngoscopy/Magill’s for FBAO; rectal diazepam, IM midazolam and chlorpheniramine; SC adrenaline
- Requires reriodic re-certification
EMA III — As of 2009 “Seven senior ambulance officers have gone to Canada for EMA III training in recent years” (Graham 2009)
Chinese University of Hong Kong has provided independent postgraduate diploma and Master of Science degree in Prehospital and Emergency Care since 2005.
First Responder Program – Launched in 2003, this program trains firemen to BLS level for care prior to ambulance arrival
GROUND AMBULANCE IN HONG KONG
Hong Kong’s ambulance fleet has been “fully equipped and manned at [advanced provider] service level since March 2005” (Graham 2009) and use three types of response vehicles:
Standard Transport Ambulance – Mercedes-Benz Sprinter staffed with three ambulance staff — one driver and two trained emergency technicians, at least one of which is EMA II-level provider.
Ambulance-Aid Motorcycle (AAMC) – First introduced in 1982, motorcycles play a key component in providing rapid on-scene care along Hong Kong’s notoriously narrow, crowded streets
Mobile Casualty Treatment Centers (MCTC) are mobilized for incidents requiring more than four ambulances; stocked with medicines and supplies above and beyond the standard ambulances they can set up small clinical area which also function as an operating theater. The MCTCs respond to calls “limited to life threatening ‘ABC’ conditions, when an ambulance is unlikely to reach the scene within the 12 min target response time” (Graham 2009)
AIR AMBULANCE IN HONG KONG
Fixed-wing and helicopter EMS (HEMS) are available through the Government Flying Service which provides transport from scene to hospital, between facilities as well as search and rescue for Hong Kong and surrounding water. Personnel are rained to a BLS level and works in coordination with Ambulance Command, though is managed independently. An Air Medical Officer (AMO) program is used to staff the service with volunteer specialist emergency physicians and nurses on holidays and weekends. To contact the Government Flying Service in case of an emergency, dial 999.
Common Emergencies in Hong Kong
Vaccinations for Hong Kong
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), different groups of travelers will require different vaccinations for travel in Hong Kong:
- All Travelers:
- Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine
- Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine
- Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
- Polio vaccine
- Your yearly flu shot
- Most Travelers:
- Hepatitis A
- Some Travelers:
- Hepatitis B
Read more about travel in Hong Kong at the CDC website: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/hong-kong-sar (Last accessed: Aug. 7, 2017)
- Chow SP et al:”Trauma care systems in Hong Kong.” Injury. 2003; 34:684–685
- Graham CA et al: “EMS systems in Hong Kong.” Resuscitation. 2009;80(7):736-9.
- Lo CB et al: “Prehospital care in Hong Kong.” Hong Kong Medical Journal. 2000;6(3):283-7.
- Lui TW et al: “Performance of a prehospital trauma diversion system in Hong Kong, China.” Chinese Journal of Traumatology 2015;18;137-40.
- Yip LM et al: “Utilization of the Accident and Emergency Departments by Chinese elderly in Hong Kong.” World Journal of Emergency Medicine 2015;6(4):283-8.