It is rather alarming that the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) had to attend to 81,686 calls between January and June this year – a 7.4 per cent increase over the same period last year (“Ambulance calls surge with ageing population”; The Straits Times, Thursday 3rd May 2017).
Most certainly it is worrying that 4 percent or 3,453 were non-emergency calls while the rest of the calls were false alarms.
Everyone has to understand that the SCDF have to attend to several emergencies that includes fighting fires, attending to accidents on our busy roads and even rescuing people who are suicidal. With their mission to save and reclaims lives, it is crucial that the services of the SCDF is not misused.
For those who abuse the SCDF officers in one way or the other or make prank calls, they must be taken to task, counselled, and if need be made to do some sort of community work. We must never alllow precious lives to be placed in jeopardy on account of abusers.
These days people get unduly worried when they or their loved ones fall ill or have accidents at home which can easily be attended to by GPs in clinics or at emergency units in private or public hospitals. But many are unwilling to pay for the extra medical fees incurred.
To help reduce the number of SCDF services, it would help if a handful of polyclinics offer medical services after office hours and on public holidays in the different districts/zones to attend to non-emergency cases. Locum doctors can be hired for this purpose, with patients paying an additional $2-$3 for this special service.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO
PROFILE OF THE WRITER
Raymond Anthony Fernando is a motivational speaker, poet, author, trainer, songwriter, freelance television actor, ghostwriter, media celebrity, regular newspaper forum page writer and an advocate for the mentally ill.
He is a volunteer with the Institute of Mental Health. The author of 32 books was married to Doris Lau Siew Lang, herself an author of 8 books. Doris was called to the Lord in April 2014. This Model Caregiver 2007 and Mental Health Champion 2010, who is born on Valentine’s Day, has contributed 31 years of service to the public sector, 15 years of experience in public relations work, and received several awards and commendations from government organisations.
Raymond attributes his success to his beloved wife, Doris, who has always been his greatest inspiration.