I put this ST Forum letter among items in my blog entry of Feb 24, as I felt it had raised pertinent points about the state of the private ambulance service network:
The relevant authorities finally replied today (March 9):
Should one be satisfied with this official reply? No. Either Ms Loh's experience was unusual and hence the private ambulance operators (PAOs) had, on the whole, been doing a good job thus far; or at least some of them have been doing a lousy job thus far -- just a few rotten apples would be one too many in such a vital public service as this -- and the authorities only woke up after Ms Loh's letter. The official reply gives no direct clue but one gets the impression that the new service standard is meant to address lapses and/or flaws -- already detected even before Ms Loh's letter -- in the private ambulance service.
This raises one other question: why must the transition period take two years? What if another distraught person were to encounter a similar set of problems as Ms Loh did during this time?
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, so the saying goes. But if it is broke, it has to be fixed.
One more thing: Tell us how ambulance services are run in other First World countries. And, since "we" love to rank ourselves, tell us how we rank in this area!