Proposals from local advisers under review

Ke Jiayun
Suggestions to be filed to the two sessions include two dealing with the problems faced by Shanghai's elderly, especially wheelchair users, getting around by ambulance or taxi. 
Ke Jiayun

Proposals from local political advisers to be filed to the "two sessions" were reviewed on Monday morning by the Committee for Handling Proposals of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)'s local branch.

By 11:30am, 316 proposals had been made. More than 38 percent were about economic construction, followed by 36.7 percent on social construction and 11.4 percent on ecological civilization construction.

Topics covered the Lingang Special Area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, Yangtze River Delta integration's fiscal and tax reform, talent in science and innovation, home-based elderly care services and reform of the medical and health systems.

Two joint proposals concerned ambulance and taxi provision for the elderly, especially wheelchair users.

Local advider Feng Maolun said the city's ambulances could not meet residents' increasing needs, especially after a non-emergency ambulance hotline opened in 2018.

In the past year or more, the hotline sent non-emergency ambulances some 200 times a day on average to take people with limited mobility from hospital to home or to another hospital. Some patients had to wait hours for an ambulance, according to the proposal.

There was also a shortage of medical staff on ambulances.

Feng and his fellow CPPCC members suggested that non-emergency ambulances should be a separate section under the Shanghai Medical Emergency Center with its own vehicles and staff.

To address the shortage of ambulance staff, they said recruitment should not be limited to medical students but be open to the public. "People who have been trained in first aid and qualified to care for the patients can be employed as non-emergency ambulance workers, such as ex-soldiers and rescue workers," Feng told Shanghai Daily.

The other proposal said that although Shanghai has more than 41,000 registered taxis on its streets, there were only 200 able to take people in wheelchairs. 

Feng and his colleagues called for more taxis designed to take wheelchair users. 

Feng also proposed a regulation to cover mobility scooters for seniors and make it legal for elderly people to travel on qualified mobility scooters.

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