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July 25, 2013

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Center ups hunt for ambulance doctors

THE Shanghai Medical Emergency Center, which is on a recruitment drive, is trying to attract doctors for ambulances from as far off provinces as Hainan in the south and Heilongjiang in the north, even as 30 percent of the 62 medical graduates, who had previously shown interest in coming over to Shanghai, changed their mind in the last minute.

Till June this year, Shanghai had 116 emergency branches with 616 ambulances at their disposal.

But many of the ambulances are not in service due to lack of doctors on board.

The center has hired 309 ambulance doctors since 2005 but 221 of them have quit the job.

With soaring temperatures, the ambulances in service attend to over 1,000 emergencies every day with staff forced to work overtime.

Very few local medical graduates are willing to do first aid work, while those from other provinces, who sign up in Shanghai, leave for other jobs after two or three years, local health officials said.

There are only about 610 first aid doctors in the city - a figure that should be double that. Last year, the center recruited 31 new doctors but lost 55 others.

Each year, dozens of doctors quit their job over low pay, a heavy workload and poor professional development.

The local authorities have tried to address the issue by raising salaries, providing more professional opportunity and pushing the Shanghai Medical Vocational School to have a major in pre-hospital treatment. The first group of students will graduate in three years.

Currently, the emergency branches deal with emergencies by classifying demand on the patients' conditions and accordingly sending an ambulance where it is needed the most.


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