It would be costly for private hospitals' accident and emergency (A&E) departments to be equipped and maintained for major traumatic accident cases.
However, when there are mass casualties in a situation affecting tens or hundreds of people, the A&E departments of private hospitals should be roped in to provide assistance and support (Ensuring preparedness for total defence, even at private hospitals, Jan 2).
I hope our total defence strategies have standing procedures and prior arrangements in place for Singapore Civil Defence Force ambulances to take those with minor injuries to the nearest private hospitals' A&E departments for immediate medical treatment.
That way, the A&E departments at public hospitals will not be overloaded or overwhelmed by the numbers.
Also, when it comes to serious traumatic cases, the ambulance staff should decide there and then to evacuate seriously injured victims with life-and-death conditions to the public hospitals, which are well equipped 24/7 for this purpose.
Our total defence preparations must be well planned and coordinated for both minor and major emergencies.
We cannot be found wanting when the least expected happens.
Tan Kok Tim