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

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SummaryAlso, the UT health department is yet to launch a dedicated emergency services ambulances such as 108

Also, the UT health department is yet to launch a dedicated emergency services ambulances such as 108

Tall claims of the UT health department to provide sophisticated ambulances in the city to save the patients without wasting the “golden hour” have fallen flat as even after eight months of filing the affidavit in this regard in the High Court, there is no sight of the ambulances.

Also, the UT health department is yet to launch a dedicated emergency services ambulances such as 108 which is being run successfully in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

It was in March this year that the UT health officials had submitted an affidavit in the court stating that to save patients within the golden hour, the health department will introduce one of the best EMRI pattern ambulance services in the city.

In fact, the health department officials had also studied the pattern of four states — Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and West Bengal where the service had been operational successfully and could be availed by calling a dedicated number.

As per the affidavit, 10 such ambulances were to be launched in the city in a phased manner, firstly for Advanced Life Support (ALS) and for Basic Life Support (BLS) in the second phase. These were to be launched in addition to the existing ambulance service being provided by the Chandigarh administration.

“In phase one, there will be four ALS ambulances while three would be for BLS service. Phase two will have another three BLS ambulances in service,” Dr Rajiv Vadehra, who is now the officiating director health services, had said in the affidavit which he had filed on behalf of the then Director Health Services.

However, even after so many months, there is no sign of these advanced ambulances coming and officials of the UT Administration blame the administrative rigmarole for the delay.

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

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