The Auxiliary Medical Service (AMS) should closely monitor the declining number of members as it decreased by 19 percent during the past five years, while the manhours spent on providing services increased by 54 percent, the latest Audit Report found.
The Audit Commission recently conducted a review to examine the administration of AMS and found that its members decreased from 4,357 to 3,514 from 2017 to 2022, and there was no improvement in the number of membership applications.
In 2022, 501 member applications were received by AMS, about a 7 percent decrease compared with 538 applications in 2021. As of December 31 last year, the Service had 3,514 volunteer members.
Apart from emergency duties, AMS also provides various services, including operating methadone clinics for the Department of Health, non-emergency ambulance transfer services, on-the-spot first aid coverage for public events, and first aid or ambulance service in country parks and on cycling tracks.
The audit watchdog noted that while the AMS members decreased by 415 from 2019 to 2021, the total manhours spent on providing services, however, increased from 578,469 to 888,211 (54 percent) during the period. In 2021, the Covid
-19 operations and manning of methadone clinics accounted for 75 percent of services manhours provided by AMS.
The Audit Report suggested AMS step up efforts in recruiting new members and retaining existing members, especially the youth one, as the number of cadets had not met the target throughout the years.
It also suggested AMS take measures to boost the training manhours after a majority of the three main types of training (recruit training, regular training, and centralized training) provided by the Service from 2017 to 2021 were found not meeting the performance targets.