Updated: July 8, 2019 9:37:37 am
The Delhi government’s bike ambulance service, which started as a pilot project in February, has received over 2,000 calls in the first four months, as per data obtained till May. In almost 68% of the total calls, patients were not found at the spot, while the rest of the cases were successfully attended to by the ambulances.
The ambulances, also called first responder vehicles (FRVs), were inaugurated with an aim to reach patients living in congested areas and JJ clusters in East Delhi, North East Delhi and Shahdara.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain had launched the fleet of 16 bikes at the Delhi Secretariat. The project cost is Rs 40 lakh, and it was approved by the Cabinet last year. Fitted with a portable oxygen cylinder, first-aid kit, dressing material, air splints, GPS and a communication device, these ambulances will be monitored for a year.
“On an average, we get 20 calls per day on 102, our helpline number. Out of that, we are able to provide services to a third of the patients. The idea is to reach through the congested lanes before ambulances and provide basic care to patients,” said L R Rana, administrative officer, Centralised Accident Trauma Services (CATS).
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As per data, the number of calls made to FRVs is increasing every month. A total of 2,082 calls were made from February till May. The service has attended to 657 patients, while in 1,425 cases, the patient was not found on the spot.
“Sometimes the patient has already been taken to the hospital by a local or a police officer. In many cases, by the time the FRVs reach, the patient has left. The service has benefited many people and we hope to expand it to other areas by the end of this year,” said Shaleen Mitra, officer on special duty to Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.
When someone calls the number, FRV and CATS ambulances leave at the same time. “Bike ambulances examine patients till the ambulance arrives. Accident victims and those who have sudden cardiac arrest benefit the most,” Mitra said.
There are 45 drivers working in three shifts with the department, from 7 am to 11 pm. Recently, the project hit a roadblock after a PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court challenging the launch of the bike ambulance service. The AAP government then informed the court that these vehicles are only responsible for providing basic care to patients till another vehicle or ambulance arrives, and will not transport patients.
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