New ambulances - protocols to be signed in September

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 05-09-2019 10:00:00 · 0 Comments
New ambulances - protocols to be signed in September

The Health Minister said that the protocols between Portuguese Firefighters and the National Institute of Medical Emergency (INEM) for the renewal of ambulances are ready to be signed this month.

"An order was issued in which €four million were allocated to INEM for the renewal of its fleet, and €1 million for guaranteeing subsidies to voluntary fire brigades for the renewal of their ambulances," added the governor.

INEM previously announced that the Government had concluded the analysis process, and the necessary amount for the renewal of 75 ambulances allocated to medical emergency posts was assured.

Last week it was reported that INEM expected to buy 75 new ambulances this year to equip medical emergency posts, but the Ministry of Finance did not authorize the use of the necessary money, despite the fact that the money belongs to INEM itself.

According to documents to which the Lusa agency had access and according to the Portuguese Firefighters League, there are 75 new vehicles for the renewal of the fleet of ambulances allocated to fire brigades and Red Cross delegations, which make up the medical emergency stations.

For the renewal of the vehicles, INEM had presented in 2017 a multi-annual plan – 2018-2021 – as there was an "absolute need to renew the ambulances, due to their age- many of them more than 12 years old, and consequent unreliability.

Documents consulted by Lusa show that the then Deputy Secretary of State and Health, Fernando Araújo, agreed to this plan and in 2018, 75 ambulances were purchased for emergency posts.

For 2019, INEM planned to purchase a further 75 ambulances and had to submit to the Ministry of Finance a request for authorisation to use the institute’s own revenue balance from previous years, an amount of around €5 million.

However, the Finance Department only committed to €1 million.

Following the release of this report, the Ministry of Finance indicated that an extraordinary budget increase for the purchase of ambulances was under consideration this year.


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