Malaysia's ambulances are a health hazard, according to a report which found that dangerous driving and poor maintenance contributed to a worrying number of accidents causing death and injury. The Auditor-General's findings, reported in The Star newspaper, found that ambulances were also used to transport food and staff, and that vital equipment such as cardiac monitors and portable ventilators did not work.
Between 2005 and September last year, 112 ambulances were involved in 120 accidents across Malaysia, causing two people to die and injuring 29 others, it said.
"The accidents also resulted in a decrease in the number of ambulances that could be used at any one time because repair works had to be done," the audit said, according to the daily.
As well as driver negligence, accidents were caused by the wrong tyres being fitted, causing blow-outs during journeys, and the use of old ambulances categorised as "beyond economic repair."
The report found that due to a lack of funds or spare parts, repairs were not carried out quickly enough, and that in one case an ambulance waited five years to be repaired.