Delayed Ambulance Response Raises Concerns Over Emergency Medical Services in Azerbaijan
On January 3, a distressing incident unfolded in the Masazir settlement of Absheron district, Azerbaijan, as a teenager who fell from the 2nd floor of his home was reportedly left without prompt medical assistance. The neighbor who called for an ambulance shared the harrowing experience of repeated calls, delayed response, and a makeshift rescue operation.
Narmin Huseynzade, the teenager's neighbor, told Turan about the incident, saying that, despite calling the emergency services immediately after the incident, the ambulance did not arrive promptly. Huseynzade expressed frustration at the lack of a definitive response from the emergency services regarding the arrival of medical assistance. Concerned about the teenager losing blood and consciousness, the neighbors improvised a stretcher and transported the injured teen to a hospital with limited means.
In response to the incident, Elnur Hidayatoglu, Head of the Public Relations Department of Tabib (Azerbaijan's State Agency for Mandatory Health Insurance), admitted in an interview with Turan, acknowledged the ongoing investigation into the delayed ambulance response. Hidayatoglu assured that appropriate measures would be taken based on the investigation's results, and law enforcement agencies would be involved if necessary.
Hidayatoglu emphasized the optimization and improvement of emergency medical services during holidays, noting that all available medical aid brigades were engaged in service to address an increased number of appeals in the Absheron district. He mentioned ongoing structural optimizations aimed at enhancing the quality of service, with a complete process expected in the early months of the current year.
The official provided details about the medical care being extended to the 15-year-old patient, identified as A., who is currently in the Intensive Care Unit of Clinical Medical Center No. 1. A range of medical examinations and services, including ECG, CT, ultrasound, and consultations with various specialists, are being provided to the teenager.
In December last year, chairman of the Board of the state agency for Compulsory Health Insurance Zaur Aliyev, presenting the annual report of the organization, said that 100 new ambulance cars were purchased.
According to him, after the introduction of compulsory health insurance, 349 units of ambulance cars were purchased: "before the introduction of compulsory health insurance, the part that met the need for ambulances was 40 percent, but now it is 64 percent."
This incident brings attention to the challenges within emergency medical services in Azerbaijan, raising questions about response times and the overall efficiency of the system. The authorities have indicated ongoing efforts to optimize and improve services, with a commitment to addressing the concerns raised by this incident.