Physicians to Cease Taking Shifts in Ambulance Skip to content

Physicians to Cease Taking Shifts in Ambulance

As of January 15, 2008, physicians will not take shifts on Neydarbíllinn (NB), a special emergency vehicle anymore. The decision was made by the National Hospital and the Capital Region Fire Department earlier this month.

Bjarni Thór Eyvindsson, head physician of NB, is not satisfied with the decision.

Eyvindsson claims the decision will have negative impact on the ambulance’s emergency services, since, in his opinion, emergency technicians lack many of the skills physicians have, Morgunbladid reports.

“Both professions have advantages which have come in handy when physicians and emergency technicians cooperate on providing emergency relief,” Eyvindsson said. “The emergency technicians’ training is more about solving problems, hands-on procedures, while decision making, diagnosis and first treatment are in the hands of doctors.”

Eyvindsson said many questions are left unanswered, like in relation to giving medicine to patients. Emergency technicians do not have full authority over supply of medicine and are not permitted to anesthetize patients under any circumstances.

NB’s operation is organized by the National Hospital of Iceland in cooperation with the Icelandic Red Cross and the Capital Region Fire Department. It covers the entire capital region and can also assist ambulances outside the region if requested.

A statement issued by the National Hospital and the Capital Region Fire Department, says that this change of the NB’s operations is meant to strengthen their cooperation.

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