At the inauguration of the Mobile Emergency Care Service (Samu, Serviço de Atendimento Móvel de Urgência) in the Federal District, the Minister of Health, Saraiva Felipe, said that this service represents a new concept in emergency care.
“The Samu organizes the care. While the victim is being transported in the mobile unit, the central control has already been able to find an adequate hospital bed to receive him (her), so that he(she) will not have to wander from hospital to hospital, thus aggravating his (her) condition,” the Minister affirmed.
With the inauguration of the service in the Federal District, the Samu now functions in 307 municipalities, serving nearly 68 million people. According to Saraiva Felipe, the average time it takes for the patient to receive care is 10 minutes.
“We have international models that don’t have the coverage we will have in Brazil, among other things, because they are smaller countries, but that demonstrate the importance of the ambulance itself being equipped and adequate and being a mobile emergency care unit that already provides first aid treatment,” he said.
In the Federal District, the Samu will operate with 37 ambulances: 30 basic support units and 7 intensive therapy units (UTIs), two of them equipped with neonatal units. To summon the Samu, the population can ring 192 free of charge, and the calls are answered by a central switchboard that functions 24 hours.
Another advantage of the system, according to the Minister, is the integration with other public services. The Samu staff is oriented, for example, to report information to the health surveillance agencies about increases in the number of cases of contagious diseases, such as meningitis, in a single locality.
Constant records of emergency calls involving cases of traffic accidents in a single locality will also help orient changes in traffic signals and surveillance.
The Minister added that reinforcing the partnership with the Federal District is intended to turn the federal capital into a national reference in the health sphere.
“I would like to underline our desire to make health in Brazil, especially in the Federal District, an endeavor with real significance and national repercussion,” he affirmed.
Among the initiatives taken by the two governments in partnership, Saraiva Felipe highlighted the inauguration of a unit of the Heart Institute (Incor) in the city.
“This makes Brasília a national center in terms of specialized care in the area of cardiology.”
The Brasília Samu was inaugurated by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, as well as Health Minister, Saraiva Felipe, and the Governor of the Distrito Federal, Joaquim Roriz.
With Samu in operation, the 2.2 million inhabitants of Brasília will have access to mobile pre-hospital emergency assistance. The mobile units will consist of doctors, nurses and nurse assistants.
The Samu proposal is to provide quick aid for people in risk situations following accidents or other urgent health problems anywhere in the area.