WITH AN aim to provide immediate medical service and care in case of rail accidents or calamities, the Central Railway (CR) will use an air-conditioned ambulance train which is now stationed in Kalyan. Currently, the train is being used to conduct free health check-ups for railway employees and their families. The four-coach van is equipped with medical supplies and a full-time team.
According to senior railway officials, talks are on to grant a green corridor to the ambulance in times of need. “The ambulance will be used to provide medical treatment to victims during the golden hour after a rail disaster. The ambulance is equipped with medical facilities and can provide treatment to 50 people at a time. We are also in talks with the state government to allow it a green corridor during emergencies, including (when) immediate organ transplants (are needed),” Shyam Sunder, the chief medical officer of CR, said.
Transportation of critically injured patients to hospitals and providing treatment to rail accident victims will be the focus of the medical van, which is the first all-inclusive running ambulance ready for immediate departure if needed. “The ambulance will leave within 15 minutes after the news of an accident or emergency (reaches). All lines will be cleared to make way for it,” Narendra Patil, the chief public relations officer, CR said.
Ten injured passengers can be accommodated at a time in the temporary rooms in the ambulance.
The ambulance was first used in 2015 to conduct medical check-ups for visitors during the Kumbh Mela in Nashik and after that it was used to hold health camps for railway employees across CR divisions, including Nagpur, Solapur and Bhusawal. Around 1,800 families of railway employees have been offered basic medical check-ups and health consultations through these camps since then.
“A team of 10 doctors and specialists will always be in control of the operations of the ambulance. Basic medical check-ups, blood investigations and other health inquiries are being offered through the camps. The ambulance is equipped with all basic facilities to conduct minor operations or treatment like cataract surgery in spacious operation rooms,” Sushma Tirki, the head doctor, rail ambulance team, said.
The camps assist in offering lectures, especially to female family members of railway employees for whom proper medical facilities are often accessible.
“Healthcare is provided at the doorstep of the needy. With it being stationed at Kalyan, one tenth of the railway employee strength in Mumbai has access to better medical health care, thanks to the ambulance and its team,” Sunder added.