We thank Mr Wan Chee Khoon for his letter (Getting the elderly to hospitals, April 12).
The Singapore Civil Defence Force's (SCDF) tiered emergency medical service (EMS) response framework aims to match the speed and type of EMS deployment to the assessed severity of a case.
This ensures that resources for responding to medical emergencies, including those involving the elderly, can be better optimised and this can translate into faster response on the ground.
To this end, from April 1, SCDF stopped conveying all non-emergency cases to hospitals.
This decision is taken after assessment by SCDF paramedics on the ground. For such cases, members of the public are advised to seek treatment at the nearest clinic.
If they prefer to be conveyed to a hospital for treatment, they should make their own arrangements or call 1777 for a non-emergency ambulance.
Private ambulance operators operate non-emergency services which cater to the needs of different types of patients, including the elderly.
We appreciate and understand Mr Wan's concern with regard to the conveyance of elderly persons, and assure him that if a case is assessed to be an emergency, SCDF will convey the patient to the hospital for treatment.
Members of the public can visit www.scdf.gov.sg for more information on the EMS tiered response framework, which includes examples of medical cases which constitute medical emergencies.
Leslie Williams (Lieutenant-Colonel)
Senior Assistant Director (Corporate Communications Department)
Singapore Civil Defence Force