Monday, October 14, 2019

Phang Nga’s floating ambulance is saving lives

Mar 10. 2019
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By The Nation

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A fully-equipped medical boat on standby for traveller emergencies in the Similan and Surin islands has already saved seven lives during the current tourist season.

Public Health Region 11 inspector-general Dr Pitakpol Boonyamalik said on Sunday the vessel and service were maintained by the Phang Nga Public Health Office and the Royal Thai Navy’s Third Naval Base, assisted by other agencies.

Phang Nga Governor Siripat Patkul presided at the March 6 launch of the boat’s latest mission, carrying supplies for health officials on the islands.

Provincial Health Office chief Dr Naretrit Khatthasima said the vessel was part of a sea-based public-health action plan that addresses medical emergencies around islands and national marine parks.

There are three levels to the service, he said. 

Level 1 is the medical team stationed on-site ready to provide initial aid and treatment, refer critical cases to appropriate facilities and train volunteers in first aid. 

Level 2 entails an effective system for reporting incidents, with a command base linked to the southern regional centre.

Level 3 involves coordinating agencies in the provision of sea-based medical services, accident prevention and a warning system.

The tourist season in Phang Nga runs from October through May, with high season from December to April. 

This province draws 4.7 million visitors a year, earning Bt51.9 million.

The medical boat this season has handled 30 injured tourists, seven of whom were in critical condition.

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