Ambulance dispatch cases to soar

Kyodo

The number of ambulance dispatches is expected to peak at around 6.20 million in 2023, continuing to climb from the record high of 5.80 million seen last year, a projection by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency showed.

Ambulance dispatches will rise in line with the increasing number of elderly people taken to hospitals for treatment of acute diseases and injuries resulting from falls, among other reasons, according to the projection released Monday by the agency.

With the rise in dispatches, it is taking longer for ambulances to arrive and there could be further loss of life due to the delays.

Compared with the agency’s projection in 2010, which forecast ambulance dispatches would peak at around 6.09 million in 2030, the latest projection, compiled in cooperation with researchers, shows dispatches will peak sooner and will be higher in number.

Ambulance dispatches are likely to decline gradually from 2024, according to the projection.

The agency, under the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, has been studying a system for ambulances to rush to emergencies on a priority basis according to the degree of urgency while making efforts to train people in first aid.