FIVE DAYS after a hospital laboratory technician died when the ambulance that was dropping off hospital employees home met with an accident, the traffic police said there were norms governing the use of ambulances, but were yet to investigate if such a violation had taken place in this case .
A traffic police official said ambulances are meant only to transport patients. The police official said some hospitals flout the rules when they use the vehicles for doing odd jobs.
The father of Atul Sharma, the 20-year-old who succumbed to his injuries he suffered when the ambulance was hit by a truck, has said his son was asked to accompany two women employees of the hospital in the ambulance that was dropping them home because the ambulance driver was ‘drunk’.
Atul’s father Ram Kishan said though his son’s duty had not got over,he got in the ambulance as an escort for the two women. Atul, who was conscious when Ram Kishan spoke to him after the accident, told his father that he had pointed out to the staffers that the driver was drunk, but they had said he was a habitual drinker and asked him to go in the ambulance for the safety of the two women.
On Monday, the police said they had received the medico-legal report of the driver, who was also hurt in the accident, and that may hold a clue on whether he was fit to drive at the time of the accident.
Ram Kishan also raised questions about why and on whose directions his son was moved from GMCH, Sector 32, to Eden hospital where he was employed, before being shifted to PGI.
UT Inspector General of Police R P Upadhyay said he was not aware of the case. He said that there is a rule that government hospital ambulances, and those of private hospitals availing government subsidies, cannot be used as general-purpose vehicles. He added that action could be taken against hospitals that break this rule. He also said that if the driver of the ambulance was drunk then action could be taken against the driver on the basis of his medico-legal report.
Eden hospital general manager Vivek Ahuja said, “I am not the right person to comment on the issue.”
There are three types of ambulances: advanced life support (ALS) ambulance, basic life support (BSL) ambulance and patient transport (PT) ambulance. According to a police source, when Atul was taken to the hospital, he was in PT Ambulance which is only for transporting the patients.