The city’s government hospitals and the health department lack a hearse van that could be used to ferry bodies from the hospital to locations within the city and outside. At present, ambulances and funeral vans ferry the bodies from hospitals.
Officials from the city’s three main hospitals, Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, Government Medical College and Hospital and PGI, confirmed to Chandigarh Newsline that none of them have a hearse van — which is equipped with freezer to prevent decomposition of body.
The Red Cross Society, which has nine ambulances and four funeral vans and operates at PGI and other areas, said they usually transport bodies in ambulance vans. “The funeral vans are without AC and we usually operate in city premises only,” said Sushil Kumar, who handles transport in the Red Cross Society. He said none of the van was equipped with freezer.
He added that when there is a requirement to send bodies to a far-off locations “AC tempo travelers are used”.
Ashwani Khanna, who is associated with Red Cross and Panchkula-based Sewak Dal Trust, said, “There is often a need to transport the body outside the city and it(hearse) van will help,” he said.
“The health department doesn’t have a hearse van and there is no plan to purchase one,” said Dr Vanita Gupta, director, health services, Chandigarh.
Prof Atul Sachdev, director-principal, GMCH, said the hospital administrator was planning to purchase one in the future. At PGI, officials said a hearse van available, but, it is used for its ‘own purpose.’
“Why would an ailing person prefer to travel in a van that ferries lifeless persons,” said Prof Dr Adarsh Kohli, department of psychiatry, PGI.