8 months after affidavit in HC, UT yet to bring ambulances

The affidavit was submitted before the high court in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a local trust for improvising the ambulance services to ensure the serious patients reach hospital within golden hours. Acting on the PIL, HC had asked the Chandigarh administration to take necessary steps to improve the ambulance service in the city by adopting best models from other parts of the country.

When contacted, Dr Rajiv Vadehra said, "We had made the proposal for procuring these 10 ambulances and had sent it to the competent authorities in the UT Administration. We had received three queries on the proposal and we have sent the replies as well. The proposal is now in the final stages and we should be able to procure the ambulance any time soon."

The information provided by UT health department in November last year stated that the available ambulances are short of drivers, para-medical staff and global positioning systems.

Interestingly, the past records of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, revealed that the 10 ambulances stationed here spend 65 per cent of the travel time on duties other than emergency care. Only 35 per cent of the time is being spent on services like ferrying patients.

Sample this: In February this year, an ambulance stationed at GMSH-16 covered a mere 30 km for ferrying patients. The total mileage of the ambulance for the said month, however, was registered over 600 km. Another ambulance showed to have covered nearly 1,800 km in the same month. The papers showed that out of the total mileage, the ambulance travelled only 600 km for services like patient care.

Ambulances made less than five per cent of the total trips for the Janani Shishu Suraksha Yojna, where the facility is to be provided free of cost.

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