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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Can we start an 'Ambulance Movement' in India?

    I was fortunate enough to take birth in a so-called 'posh' locality of South Calcutta. By the grace of Almighty, I am presently residing in another 'posh' locality in South Delhi. The residents of these localities avail various facilities and benefits provided by the Government, which most of the people of the country can't even imagine. However, even in these localities I have found that it becomes very difficult to take a serious patient to hospital, because of shortage of ambulances. As a result, private ambulance services (with sub-standard facilities) take exorbitant amount to take a patient to the hospital.

    While working in Eastern Railway, I was posted in an under-developed area of West Bengal. There I saw a snake-bite patient died while being transported to a hospital at a distance of 5 Kilometre by a rickshaw-van at night. I also noted how pregnant ladies were taken to hospitals for delivery. I noted similar problem in various North-Eastern states. Nobody even dares to think about ambulances in those places!

    While working as Administrative Officer in one of the best Govt. hospitals in Delhi, I got an opportunity to know that the budgetary provisions for ambulances in hospitals are minuscule compared to the total budget. The hospital where I used to work had (in 2001-2006) 5 extremely modern ambulances donated by Govt. of Japan, but did not have even a single ambulance from the Hospital's own budget. Almost similar condition prevails in all Govt. hospitals even now.

    I feel that if adequate number of ambulances can be made available all over the country, many precious lives can be saved. Govt. can make adequate provision for this purpose. So far as financing of such project/scheme, not only from the budget of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of the Central Govt. and State Govts. (Health being in the Concurrent List in the Constitution of India), adequate funds can also be provided from the huge unspent amount of the budget of Ministry of Rural Development for this purpose. The project may initially start at the identified under-developed districts of the country, later it can be expanded to cover the entire country.

    Let us start an 'Ambulance Movement' in India! I would like to have the suggestions of other Members of ISC in this regard.
  • #577767
    In Hyderabad if we dial 108 number within 5 minutes a ambulance will be at your door step and that is for free service offered by the government. It will take the patient to the nearest hospital and admit them without any hassle. Normally if a accident takes place and we have to transfer the patient to hospital , that is not possible for the ordinary citizen engaging ambulance and reaching a hospital,. They ask for police complaint and many thing before admitting and by the time the patient is not attended. But 108 ambulance has the first aid kit and also a doctor in attendance so that immediate requirement of patient is attended and on reaching hospital, the patient is directly taken to casualty without asking for any complaint registration or papers. I do appreciate the author for the suggestion but surely this type of free services would be there in Kolkatta too as 108 service is the National ambulance service.
    K Mohan
    I consider myself as the learner everyday

  • #577769
    The Ministry of Health & family welfare, Government of India has a 'National Health Mission ' (NHM) program. A service known as National Ambulance Service (NAS) is a part of the NHM. On paper, 31 States/UTs of India have the facility where people can dial 108 or 102 telephone number for calling an ambulance.

    Dial 108 is an emergency response system to attend to patients for critical care e.g. trauma and accident victims etc. whereas dial 102 aims to provide basic patients transport catering to the needs of pregnant women and children etc. though there is no bar as such on other categories of patients availing such services.

    As per data made available on the website of the ministry, 7661 and 7704 vehicles are being supported/operated under dial 108 and dial 102 schemes respectively.

    In emergency medicine, the first hour is said to be the golden hour for providing medical care. It is believed that there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical treatment during the golden hour will prevent death.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

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