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Doctors on bikes to help patients in slums

The doctors have been trained in handling road traffic accidents, cardiac arrest cases, deliveries, and respiratory distress as four major specialties under this service.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai |
August 4, 2017 4:24:56 am
doctors news, slums news, india news, indian express news Doctors on 10 bikes will be posted in different locations across the city. Ganesh Shirsekar

At least 20 “doctors on bikes” will be posted in the city to help emergency patients in slums, where narrow lanes make them inaccessible to ambulances. As part of the pilot project in Mumbai under the Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services (MEMS), trained medical officers will provide emergency treatment to stabilise patients in a bid to cut response time when an ambulance is called but cannot reach certain locations.

Under 108 toll-free ambulance helpline, doctors on 10 bikes will be posted in Malvani, Madanpura, Govandi, Bhandup, Mankhurd, Dharavi, Malad East, Charkop, Goregaon Film City, Khar Dhanda, Kalina and Thakur village under a programme called Motor First Respond Vehicle (MFRV). This programme is similar to the concept of flying doctors in tribal district Nandurbar, where homeopathic doctors visit a patient’s home on bikes in hilly terrain to offer services.

Whenever a call by a patient will be made, a doctor on a bike will be dispatched to that area. Simultaneously, an ambulance will be sent. “Doctor is supposed to stabilise the patient before he can be shifted in ambulance to a nearby hospital. This is to further cut down time in the golden hour,” said Dr Amol Pandit, district manager for 108 service. According to a BVG official, a delay of over 20 minutes was noted in thick slums where narrow lanes made it difficult for an ambulance to navigate.

The motor bikes are fixed with a portable stretcher, delivery kit, emergency trauma kit and basic airway management kit with oxygen support.

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Twenty city doctors with experience of three years or more in emergency medicine have been posted on these bikes with separate training to handle technical issues with motor bikes. “They have been trained to manage a bike if it does not start or to carry a patient on stretcher to the ambulance with locals’ help,” Pandit added. According to Dr Vijay Patil, one of the 20 doctors trained to ride the Royal Enfield 350 CC bullets, the purpose is to reach the patient in 10-15 minutes of call. “We have noticed in past that ambulance takes 40 to 50 minutes to reach due to traffic and road congestion. A bike is able to navigate easily,” Patil said.

The doctors have been trained in handling road traffic accidents, cardiac arrest cases, deliveries, and respiratory distress as four major specialties under this service.

 

tabassum.barnagarwala@expressindia.com

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