India – No more illegal ambulances from 2018 on

NEW DELHI: The Indian Transport Ministry has set specific rules for all ambulances on service.

From April 2018 on, the so called “jugaad ambulances” – i.e. illegal ambulances – will be forbidden. The usual taxis fitted with flashers, sirens and hardly equipped with gadgets to carry patients safely to hospitals will not operate as ambulances anymore.

Ambulances in India are more like transport vehicles and any vehicle suitable to lay a patient is called an ambulance, without consideration to the overall ambulance design.

The ambulance code recently informed that road ambulances will have to be designed and specially equipped for transporting patients and must be capable of providing out-of-hospital care during transit. It reported also, that there will be four categories of road ambulances. Barring the first responder vehicles, the other three category of ambulancespatient transport, basic life support and advanced life support -will have stretchers, traction device, stationary oxygen, cardiac monitor, diagnostic equipment such as BP monitor.

The norms to regulate ambulance service is a positive step for India. However, experts affirm, the following step is to ensure people in calling and getting ambulance.

The safety expert Rohit Baluj leaves with a question:

“No one wants to bring a patient on unsafe vehicle. But what are the options they have when ambulances are not available and where people can’t pay for the service?”

Source: The Times of India

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