New ambulance hotline serves 10,000 in 2 months

Medical transport service carries those with limited mobility from hospital to home.

In the past two months, about 10,000 Shanghai residents have used a new ambulance transportation hotline, the city’s health authority said yesterday.

The hotline, 962120, is meant for non-emergency transport of persons with limited mobility from hospitals back to their homes. In the past, such persons often called 120, the city’s medical emergency number.

With ambulances now being used more efficiently, emergency vehicles can reach callers in urban districts within 12 to 13 minutes, about 2 minutes faster than before, according to the Shanghai Commission of Health and Family Planning.

The 962120 service is available through reservation, with limited availability for those needing immediate transport.

The service covers suburban Songjiang, Minhang, Jiading and Fengxian districts, as well as seven urban districts — Yangpu, Hongkou, Jing’an, Huangpu, Xuhui, Changning and Putuo.

The commission plans to further publicize the service in the future and allow callers to book reservations at specific hours. Currently, bookings are only available for morning or afternoon slots.

Ambulances for non-emergency purposes operate from 8am to 4pm every day.

Reservations for the service can be made by calling the number directly, or through the Shanghai Medical Emergency Center’s official WeChat account “shanghai_120” a day in advance.

Besides homes, the service can also transport patients to nursing facilities for senior citizens, the center said. It does not provide transportation to hospitals.

The center, which has about 3,000 medical emergency workers, 800 ambulances and 157 emergency stations around the city, dispatched ambulances about 760,000 times last year, and 16 percent of these dispatches were for non-emergency cases.

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