We are regularly asked how to call an ambulance in Thailand. Often residents in the country cannot recall the nationwide medical emergency number or are not even aware that it exists. Here’s what you need to know.
When Should You Call an Ambulance?
It could be at home or a busy shopping centre, a medical emergency can happen at any place or time. However, when should an ambulance be called? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the condition life threatening?
- Could the condition get worse and become life threatening on the way to the hospital?
- Could moving the patient cause further injury?
- Are the skills and equipment of emergency medical personnel needed in this situation?
- Would distance or traffic conditions cause a delay in getting to the hospital?
If you answer “yes” to any of the above or if you’re not sure, then call an ambulance immediately at +66 2011 5222. If you are too far away from Bumrungrad International Hospital or somewhere in Thailand outside Bangkok, dial 1669 for nationwide emergency assistance in order to be sure that the patient gets to a hospital as quickly as possible.
What Information Should You Know?
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and panic. However, doing so will cloud your mind and make it difficult to act fast. Instead, try to stay calm and concentrate on one thing at a time. When you call the emergency ambulance service, the operator will ask you some questions in order to provide the best assistance available. You will need to speak clearly so that the patient receives the necessary aid. Some questions you may be asked include:
- Where is the patient?
- What is the phone number you’re calling from?
- Are you with the patient right now?
- Is the patient awake and breathing?
- What is the name, age and gender of the patient?
- Does the patient have any known medical conditions?
- Is the patient a Bumrungrad International Hospital patient? If so, what is the Hospital Number?
When calling Bumrungrad, help is already on the way while you are providing this information. Taking the time to answer the operator’s questions will not delay the ambulance response in any way. Remember to remain on the phone until the dispatcher says that it is okay to hang up.
What if You Don’t Speak English or Thai?
If you do not speak English or prefer to speak in your native language, when calling Bumrungrad ask for an interpreter and one will be provided. While the ambulance is on the way, an interpreter will be located to help answer any remaining questions about the patient. Otherwise in an emergency, it may be best to ask a Thai-speaking person nearby to speak to the dispatcher to explain exactly where you are so that the ambulance can arrive as quickly as possible.
Always be prepared and responsible in an emergency situation – you could save lives. Remember to remain calm and apply the information provided above. Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Emergency Center operates 24 hours a day. It is staffed by a team of emergency physicians and surgeons, along with a fleet of ambulances as well as an aviation medical evacuation team on standby.
To reach the hospital, dial +66 2011 5222. If you are in Thailand but outside of Bangkok, call 1669 for immediate nationwide emergency assistance.
Editor’s Note: This article has been reprinted here with permission of Bumrungrad International Hospital.