State plans to procure advance ambulances for critical patients

After the success of 108 ambulance service that provides basic life support for healthcare in the state, the State Project Management Unit (SPMU) of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) is planning to procure advance life support ambulances (ALSAs) for the first time in Uttar Pradesh.

The proposal for these advance ambulances will be a part of the Project Implementation Plan (PIP) of NRHM for the year 2013-14.

As per senior officials of SPMU, the state has proposed procurement of 250 ALSAs in the next financial year. As of now, the state has 988 functional ambulances running under 108 scheme, and another 972 ambulances under Samajwadi Swasthya Sewa. Further, the state health department and NRHM are also planning to procure another 1,000 ambulances under the 102 ambulance scheme.

However, all these ambulances are fitted with basic life support system, which can be used to transport patients to hospitals, but are not useful for critical patients who need ventillator support and need long-distance transport. The state has no ALSA as of now.

In the proposed ALSAs, the vehicles will be fitted with high-end life support machine like ventilators, defibulator and other instruments that can transport critical patients like that of cardiac arrest or serious road accidents over longer distance. While the basic life support ambulances cost around Rs 5.5 lakh to Rs 6.5 lakh, the ALSAs are expected to cost three times more. As per officials, the proposal puts the cost of an ALSA to around Rs 18 lakh.

The details of implementation of the scheme are yet to be chalked out. SPMU officials are mulling attaching the advance ambulances to the control room of the 108 schemes. Though the exact location of placement of these ambulances are still to be decided, an expert group is expected to chart out accident-prone areas on state and national highways cutting across Uttar Pradesh. The ALSAs, along with an expert medical team, would be strategically placed in these areas. Some of the ambulances will also be made available to the high-end medical facilities in the state, said an NRHM official dealing with the proposal.

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