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Beijing to have advanced first-aid system
By Song Ping (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-04-06 06:35

Beijing will have a first-class first-aid system in place for the 2008 Olympic Games with the promise that no one will have to wait more than five minutes for an ambulance.

So said Jin Dapeng, director of the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau (BMHB).

He was speaking at the Sino-French Medical Emergency and Disaster Forum held on Monday and yesterday.

The capital plans to set up first-aid stations in all 132 urban communities and add 22 in the suburbs, Jin said.

The public will be able to dial 120, the telephone number for the emergency services, and an ambulance with doctors on board will arrive in no more than five minutes.

Organized by the BMHB and the French Embassy, the forum is aimed at helping Beijing develop and perfect the first-aid medical network system.

It wants the city to satisfy the requirements for medical emergency services during the Olympics.

"The forum aims to help Beijing strengthen construction of the public health system, establish and perfect the emergency system, and consolidate the functions of such a large international city," Jin stressed.

This year, Beijing will spend US$400 million on updating and extending its current medical facilities.

All of the medical rescue network will be used to support the 2008 Olympic Games' medical emergency services. The Beijing Emergency Medical Centre will add 400 new ambulances along with air rescue services.

More than 300 officials, experts and doctors in this field from the two countries gathered at the forum to discuss how to help Beijing define its own medical emergency network.

Meanwhile, nine French companies involved in air first aid, ambulances, software, instruments, security systems and ventilators, have been invited to exhibit their products.

On display is a model of the latest French first-aid helicopter.

Since 2002, the BMHB has co-operated with the Health Ministry of France in first aid.

French Total Group, the forum's main sponsor, will provide 1.5 million euros (US$1.93 million) over the next five years to launch the Beijing medical emergency programme, in co-operation with the Beijing municipal government, the BMHB and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The long-term programme focuses on education, training and the promotion of emergency medicine.

It also includes sending some Beijing first aiders to France for training, research and face-to-face exchanges with their French counterparts.

This helps them understand the advantages of the French first-aid medical system and advanced technologies.

As the largest group in France and one of world's four largest oil and gas companies, Total Group entered China 25 years ago.

"Six Chinese first-aid doctors went to France to be trained for one year in the French emergency medical network in November 2004," said Dr Gerard Deleens, president of Total Petrochemicals.

(China Daily 04/06/2005 page3)

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