Transport ministry okays ambulance code

The Ministry of Transport and Highways has approved a code to make ambulances better equipped and safe for moving patients depending upon their medical requirement since no guidelines were available for hospitals for seeking required specifications from the automobile industry.

The “National Ambulance Code AIS:125” recommended by Central Motor Vehicles Rules-Technical Standing Committee (CMVR-TSC) has been approved by the ministry.

“This ‘code’ puts in place minimum standards and guidelines regarding the constructional and functional requirements of road ambulances in India. Drafted in line with the best global practices in the field of ambulance design, the code has been suitably adapted to factor in the special requirements of the Indian sub-continent, including traffic conditions, the need for economy and industry maturity,” the ministry said a release issued on Friday.

The transport ministry had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Dr Shakti K Gupta, who heads hospital administration of All India Institute of Medical Science, to come out with a blue print on ambulances. The code classifies road ambulances into four types –  A, B, C & D, that is “First Responder”, “Patient Transport”, “Basic Life Support” and “Advanced Life Support”, respectively.

The basic category of “First Responder”, which also includes two-wheeled ambulances, has been specially introduced for the first time in the country to cater to the need for providing prompt medical care in congested by-lanes and high traffic areas.

Special emphasis has been laid down on aspects such as care ergonomics, patient safety, oxygen system design, infection control and crash rescue. Once implemented, this code will ensure uniformity and standardisation in ambulance design and a minimum level of patient care.

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