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Emergency Medicine International
Volume 2018, Article ID 8701957, 7 pages
Research Article

A Sustainable Ambulance Operation Model in a Low-Resource Country (the Democratic Republic of Congo)

1Departments of Emergency Medicine, Hallym University-Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital, Chuncheon, Gangwon-Do, 24253, Republic of Korea
2Gangwon Telemedicine Center, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Gangwon-Do, 24252, Republic of Korea
3Institute for Skeletal Aging & Orthopedic Surgery, Hallym University-Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital, Chuncheon, 24252, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Sang-Soo Lee; moc.liamg@eelss321 and Moo-Eob Ahn; moc.liamg@boeoom

Tae-Hun Lee, Jae-Hyun Han, and Ashish Ranjan Sharma contributed equally to this work.

Received 28 February 2018; Accepted 30 July 2018; Published 28 August 2018

Academic Editor: Joe Nemeth

Copyright © 2018 Tae-Hun Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Due to an increase in traffic collisions, the demand for prehospital medical services is on the rise, even in low-resource countries where emergency ambulance services have not been previously provided. To build a sustainable and continuous prehospital ambulance operation model, it is necessary to consider the medical system and economic conditions of the corresponding country. In an attempt to construct a prehospital ambulance operation model that ensures continuous operation, a pilot “emergency patient transporting service from field to hospital” operation was established for approximately three months in Kinshasa, the capital of the DR Congo. To construct a continuously operating model even after the pilot operation, willingness to pay (WTP) by type of emergency medical and transport service was investigated by implementing the contingent valuation method (CVM). Using CVM, the WTP for prehospital emergency services targeting ambulance services personnel, patients, policemen, and hospital staff participating in the pilot operation was calculated. The results of the pilot operation revealed that there were a total of 212 patients with a mean patient number of 2.4 per day. A total of 155 patients used the services for hospital transport, while 121 patients used the services for traffic collisions. Traffic collisions were the category in which ambulance services were most frequently needed (66.2%). Pay services were most frequently utilized in the home-visit services category (40.9%). Based on these results, eight independently operated ambulance operation models and sixteen models that utilize hospital medical personnel and policemen already belonging to existing institutions were proposed. In an effort to implement emergency medical ambulance services in the DR Congo, medical staff receiving pay for performance (incentive pay) should be deployed in the field and on call. Accordingly, with respect to sustainable development goals, various pay-for-service models should be used.