July 8, 2008
By 2010, Govt Plans to Get 10,000 High-End Ambulances
By Kounteya Sinha
NEW DELHI: The government plans to create emergency trauma care facilities along 13,000km of national highways, covering the Golden Quadrilateral and the north-south and east-west corridors.The ministry has already identified 140 health centres, several of them being given Rs 16 crore each, to serve as apex comprehensive trauma centres. The surface transport ministry will provide ambulances, carrying trained paramedical staff, every 50km.
By 2010, the government plans to have 10,000 high-end ambulances which will reach emergency spots within 25 minutes of a call. Equipped with a defibrillator, an echocardiogram, ventilators, oxygen supply, intra-venous fluids, blood substitutes, snake venoms, five stretchers and extrication tools to pull out victims from accident sites, each ambulance will also have an emergency medical technician.
At present, 80% of the so-called ambulances are more of transport vehicles incapable of providing any ambulatory care, Ramadoss said.
Venkat Changavalli, CEO of EMRI, said the 10,000 ambulances will attend to 30 million emergencies annually - maternal emergencies, accidents, respiratory distress calls and cardiac arrests.
"At present, 40 lakh people die in such situations annually," Changavalli added.
India accounts for 1% of the motor vehicles in the world, but bears the burden of 10% of the global vehicular accidents.
At present in India, an estimated 1.27 lakh people are seriously injured on the road every year. Of them, 80,000 die due to accidents on highways - 10% of all accident deaths globally. At least 40% deaths occur at the roadside due to delay in treatment. By 2020, road accident deaths in India are likely to increase by 147%.
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