REVIEW – July – August 2008

Road safety and healthcare


Articles PDF


The present situation with points of contact between healthcare and the aims and goals of road safety in Estonia is described. Recently, the Estonian government made a political decision to launch the Action Plan for 2008–2011 under the National Road Safety Programme 2003–2015. The amount of about 1.2 billiard EEK passed a thorough expertise by specialists and politicians of five ministries, several public administrations and representatives of local governments. The Action Plan set the definitions and goals regarding the level of road safety to be achieved in Estonia by 2011. We considered road safety in association with healthcare, including the exchange of information about the driver’s health condition, treatment and drug prescription between the medical staff and the police. This approach involves the conditions and treatment influencing the driver’s ability  to drive, which need to be discussed. The healthcare system also could be involved in the case of traffic offenders (recidivism, substance or alcohol abuse) as well as in social and medical rehabilitation. The article deals with the need for creating a nationwide injury registration system for monitoring all vehicle accidents, as well as accidents with cyclists and pedestrians. Such a system would also serve as a useful tool for specialists and researchers of public health. The need for development of an e-call system and preparedness for its implementation are discussed as well. For hospital statistics, it is important to introduce the MAIS (Maximum Abbreviated Injury Score) system. Some remarks concern specialist availability for patients with severe injuries who live far from big centres. According to the Action Plan, all innovations must be introduced by the year 2011.