BEIJING, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Beijing 999 Emergency Center said on Wednesday that it has started offering citizens non-first aid and air medical rescue services for better emergency resources management of the megacity.
Beijing is one of the few cities in China that currently has two emergency services systems: the 120 Emergency Center under the municipal government, and the 999 Emergency Center under the city's Red Cross Society. Even so, first-aid resources are tight in Beijing.
Tian Zhenbiao, vice director of the Beijing 999 Emergency Center, said fast urbanization and an increase in the aging population have led to a rise in emergency treatment in the city in recent years. However, a prominent problem is that a large number of non-emergency patients are calling emergency services.
Data over the past three years show that the number of non-emergency calls has reached nearly 100,000 per year, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the total call volumes, said Tian, adding that most of these calls were for patient transfers, medical event services, and air rescue services.
According to Beijing health authorities, by the end of 2021, 120 will be the only number one can dial for pre-hospital medical emergencies and 999 for non-emergencies. This will come into effect to increase the city's emergency treatment capacity.
Starting on Wednesday, Beijing citizens can dial 999 or make reservations on WeChat for non-emergency services.
The city also plans to shorten the average emergency response time to less than 12 minutes within two years. In 2022, there will be one ambulance for every 30,000 people, and the number of first-aid stations will reach 465 in Beijing. Enditem