Health deptt to get 21 cardiac-and-trauma care ambulances

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Srinagar: In a significant development the state government Tuesday said that 21 critical care ambulances (CCAs) will be made available within few days in the state and that ten of them would be allotted to the Directorate Health Services Kashmir.

One of the top officials in the health department wishing anonymity told KNS that the expert committee has approved these ambulances after visiting Instru Medics Company at New Delhi which has been given go-ahead by the government for the manufacture of 25 CCAs. “I would like to tell you that the final delivery of all 21 ambulances will be made available in the state within few days and ten of them will be delivered to the Directorate health services Kashmir,” he said.

Dr Yashpal Sharma, Managing Director, Medical Supplies Corporation confirmed the development to KNS, said that within a short period of time all these CCAs will be available in the state. “We are receiving all these ambulances very soon. I would like to inform you that ten of them to be allotted to the Director Health services Kashmir,” he said.

The official sources maintained that purchase cost of one ambulance is Rs 27 lakh and all of them have transport ventilator (portable), monitor defibrillator, oxygen system, autoloader-collapsible stretcher, scoop stretcher, spine board with straps and head blocks, wheelchair, syringe pump, nebulizer machine, suction system, pulse oxymeter, glucometer and cool and warm boxes for medicines and blood. “These ambulances fall in ‘advanced life support’ category where the critical patient can be taken to a hospital in emergency or referred to outside state,” said one of the officials in the health department.

Sources said that the purchase of the CCAs had been stuck in various controversies over the years due to the Health Department’s inability to rope in parties for tendering process. “The purchase of CCAs has been lingering on for the last almost eight years due to various reasons, but soon after the chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti took over the reins of the state, she directed the health department to make these CCA’s available as soon as possible,” said one of the officials of the government.

The officials in the health department said that once they will get these Ambulances, these will be immediately distributed to all the districts.

Notably the PDP- BJP government had given a nod for Medical Supplies Corporation (MSC) for the purchase of 25 CCAs.

It is pertinent to mention here that the state is in dire need of critical care government ambulance service since it doesn't have a fully functional medical emergency ambulance system. “Every day the Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing an increase in the number of accidents, violent incidents and medical emergencies. But the ambulances in the state are make-shift vans and are often extend a nightmarish experience to the critical patients rather than providing them a safe journey to hospitals in case of emergency,” one of the senior doctors said.

He said that Lack of the specialized vehicles fitted with life support systems is responsible for patients losing on ‘the golden hour’, the time that could mean the difference between life and death, in transportation to a healthcare facility.

Other doctors at various hospitals of the state said that it is common for them to receive patients in morbid conditions because they had taken a long time to reach the hospital without any medical support. “It is very easily said that the person on way to hospital succumbed but in reality it can be translated into patient not getting proper medical care in time,” one of the doctor of SMHS said, adding that it is the critical care ambulances that can support a critical patients. (KNS)

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