GB Pant ambulances did not work in May

Driver of CATS vehicles was on leave

Ambulance services in GB Pant, the leading tertiary care hospital of the city, were paralysed for the entire month of May, two RTIs have revealed. Of the three ambulances, one did not function as its driver was on leave, and the other two travelled merely 90 km.

An RTI reply has revealed that the advanced life support vehicle of the Centralised Accident & Trauma Services (CATS), bought during the commonwealth games and stationed at GB Pant hospital did not function in May because the lone driver was on leave.

ALS stationed in hospitals run from 8 am to 4 pm. It is to be noted that Delhi government has 21 ALS vehicles out of which 14 are in hospitals and seven are supposed to work 24X7 directly through CATS.

To another RTI query, the hospital responded that it has two patient transport ambulances (Maruti vans). PTAs are basic ambulances with first-aid kit. 

Less use

These ambulances combined ran only 90 kms in the month of May and made many trips of Lok Nayak Hospital (LNH) in May-2012. 

 Lok Nayak Hospital is located next to GB Pant and many patients are transferred between the two after doctors’ referral.

The RTI also said the tariff of private ambulances is not fixed by any government agency. Tariff for ambulances run by the hospital are Rs 150 for a distance of less than 20 kms and Rs 250 from 20-35 kms. For distance from 35-50 kms, charges are Rs 350.

An RTI reply by the CATS showed that in many cases services of drivers could not be utilised as the ambulances were not functional. 

“It is appalling that the services cannot be managed when healthcare is in shambles. In one case ambulance is lying free because there is no driver, while in the other case, driver is idling away time. It is about basic managing skills,”said a senior resident in Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, adding he has seen instances where a family has to spend several thousand rupees on ambulance when the treatment cost runs into few hundreds.

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