January 10, 2018
In case of a medical emergency it is the 108 ambulance we mostly depend, but 108 ambulances are in need of critical care with most of its vehicles in poor conditions without proper maintenance.
An 108 ambulance driver said, ”There are 38 ambulances in the city out of which 3 are bike ambulances, 2 neonatal and 33 regular ambulances. Most of these ambulances require frequent visits to garage due to poor condition of vehicles.” The driver said that if there are 10 vehicles plying on road, at least two are in bad condition.At least four vehicles needs a push to get started.
He said that an ambulance in Perur was running without proper siren and it was only repaired recently. “We have been told not to take any serious cases in such situation, instead we have been asked to attend to normal cases”, the driver said.
When 108 services are meant only for emergency, we wonder what they mean by “normal cases”.
The driver said that in such situation, the next nearest vehicle is called in and it takes at least an hour to pick up the patient and drop him at the hospital. He further said, ”One ambulance in city attends at least 350 cases a month, while an ambulance operating in rural area will have to attend to at least 200 cases.”
There are 6 ambulances stationed between Coimbatore Railway junction and SITRA junction. Another major issue with the ambulances is that there isn’t any proper place to clean the vehicles. “After attending to a patient, there is often blood stains in the vehicle and this causes infection to the driver, attender and other patients. By the time we clean the vehicle, we are called in to attend another patient and that patient is prone to get infections since the vehicle is not clean.”
”While most of the vehicles are said to have power steering, the oil box which is present in such vehicles have been removed. Also, speed regulators are attached to vehicles and the tyres are only changed at 70,000 kms.”
The driver also said that the drivers are getting paid only based on the mileage and based on how less maintenance work the vehicle needs. He also mentioned that there are several ladies working in the ambulance facility and there aren’t any proper toilet facilities for them to use.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE : https://youtu.be/cdoGFuX4Njo