On October 16, 2023, The Emergency Medical Service Command & Control Centre of Vientiane Capital (CCC) has initiated operations for the first time in Laos under the support of the the JICA Partnership Program on Project for Stopping the Accident Fatality rise by EMS development and Road safety (SAFER Project) represented by the University of Tsukuba. At this time, a government emergency call number (1195) is now open for public use.
In Laos, many organizations that provide pre-hospital emergency services, such as accident transport and pre-hospital first aid, are comprised of private volunteers. In the past, multiple ambulances were often dispatched to the same location for single incidents since each group had a different emergency call number. However, with the CCC, all 1195 emergency calls are coordinated to facilitate effective transport. Furthermore, the use of the Emergency Medical Service Support System (ESS) by the CCC enables three central hospitals (Mittaphab Hospital, Setthathirath Hospital, Mahosot Hospital) and the five rescue groups to share information on the injured and sick, the location of ambulances, and determine effective intervention measures by analyzing accumulated data. As a result, transportation time will be shortened and preparation time for patient reception will be created.
The CCC is a public emergency call reception center, located in Mittaphab Hospital (Ministry of Health, Lao P.D.R), with command authority to dispatch orders to five rescue groups* which are already widely active in Vientiane Capital.
*Foundation for assisting poor people of Lao PDR (1623), Vientiane Rescue (1624), Lao Red Cross Rescue Team (1625), China Foundation Rescue Emergency Call (1628), Houamchai Foundation (1630)
Operating staff at the CCC are “Medical Directors,” assigned from three central hospitals, and “Dispatchers,” assigned from the five rescue groups officially registered at the Ministry of Lao P.D.R.. They have been training and preparing since March 2022 on the role of the CCC and the communication and coordination systems. The CCC director is a physician from Mittaphab Hospital, who oversees the CCC.
Medical directors oversee the entire dispatch to hospital arrival processes within the CCC and direct dispatchers or ambulance crews for cases that require special attention.
Dispatchers use ESS to efficiently dispatch ambulances to the reporting location after receiving and processing the emergency calls. They accomplish this task by identifying the site on a digital map, selecting the nearest ambulance to the reporting location, and commanding the ambulance to go into action through the ESS.
Ambulance crews use the ESS app on their mobile phones to enter their ambulance status (Transportable, Rescuing, Stand by, Not Transportable) and patient information that will be shared in real time with all dispatchers and the receiving hospital.
Thanks to the generous cooperation of related organizations, this longtime vision came to fruition, the CCC was established, and operations have commenced. Continued cooperation of many related organizations is required for the stable operation of the CCC and for the next phase of efforts to utilize the data accumulated by the ESS.
After the SAFER Project is fully completed, Mittaphab Hospital will continue to play a central role in the CCC mission.