Speech of Prime Minister Edi Rama at the inauguration of the Emergency Coordination Unit of the National Medical Emergency Service:
Congratulations on this very admirable work, starting from an extremely discouraging basis. It was not far, just 3 and a half years ago, when the reform began, the Emergency Service was in a dramatic situation.
Today we are in completely different conditions when we can tell citizens out and loud that the National Emergency Service will operate on a full-time basis throughout the territory starting from April 3. These days were used to carry out all required tests for an ultra-modern program that guarantees the calls and real-time responses, guarantees real-time command of the vehicle that is the closest to the location, coordination of all vehicles, and real-time monitoring of the vehicle with real-time reporting of the completion of the mission.
From a manual and totally degraded service we switched to a service that is launched on an electronic brain installed in the National Emergency Centre, and on the ability to manage in the most efficient manner all human resources and tools available.
Today we have almost twice the number of the ambulances operating 24/7. Based on the project of this reform, not only in district centres but in every city in Albania, they are not parked at a main hospital, but every ambulance will respond to 22 thousand inhabitants, from 41 thousand that were up to date, in terms of the ratio between vehicles and residents. The safety and speed guaranteed here were unimaginable until 3 and half years ago. This is a successful model implemented in Austria, Germany, Italy, with the right staff in the territory and the right technology to receive and review the call for help, and submit it to the doctor.
The time when the Emergency phone rang and nobody would answer, because the person supposed to answer was sleeping, is over.
Every phone call does not encounter any obstacle and is received by the operator. They are all professionals, and not only are they able to answer but they can provide the right advice as the patient waits for the specialized aid to arrive.
Every information of every operation is automatically stored in the system, which generates a record of all events for all patients, in order for the medical staff to intervene immediately in case a second call is made from the same patient. In addition, this creates the opportunity to establish an ongoing relation of the patients with our healthcare service. The database of patients is very important in order to provide an even more efficient service. It is worth mentioning that the database of every operation, which is monitored second by second, allows us to assess the performance of each service and that of the medical team.
Investments for emergency services in terms of personnel and equipment have been extended to some regional hospitals in Shkodra, Vlora, Lezha, Durres, and they will continue in all hospitals in Albania.
Also, it is very important to note that this year's budget for health has been the biggest budget since 1990, and it is equal to 3% of our GDP. This marks an increase of approximately 30% compared with 3 and a half years ago.
Of course, there is still a lot to be done because the system we inherited was broken, destroyed, and it needed a thorough recovery in terms of the capital, in every sector and in every element. Infrastructure also has improved significantly, but this improvement must continue at an intense pace. In addition to direct investments from the state budget, we will start investments from the “1 billion for reconstruction” program which includes, in addition to road infrastructure at different levels and educational infrastructure, the construction of a regional hospital of excellence in the region of Fier, 10 health centres of excellence throughout the territory of the Republic of Albania.
In addition to improving the conditions and quality of services, these investments will create opportunities for a significant growth of the level and involvement of health professionals.
I believe that what was demonstrated to us today and what will affect citizens in their daily life, in every case of need for medical emergency, speaks more than 1 million words. We are still far compared to what we should do, but compared to what we have done, taking as a reference point from where we started, a really colossal work has been done to revive our health care system. This is something tangible, and something for which those who need and receive this service thank us constantly. Meanwhile, the general perception remains still problematic as a result of many years of disappointments from our health service.
I thank once again those who worked on this fantastic project. I appreciate enormously the fact that we could cooperate with an Italian company, which is one of the most brilliant examples of success in the use of high technology in the health service in Europe.
Many thanks to all, and much success!
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The Emergency Coordination Unit of the National Medical Emergency Service was launched in order to ensure a fast and professional presence across the country. The new digital system of command and control, which became operational today, will receive in real time calls through two toll free numbers from across the country, in addition to coordinating the ambulances and medical teams throughout the territory. The service will be available around the clock. The Coordination Unit will drastically shorten the time required for the provision of the service. Vehicles will be monitored electronically, and the reporting of the performance of each service will be delivered in real time.