After two years, 430 ambulances purchased by the health and family welfare department for emergency medical transport services (EMTS) will finally be used to transport patients to hospitals.
According to the sources, in the first phase the state government has planned to launch EMTS in 14 districts of three divisions- Meerut, Moradabad and Saharanpur. Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav will flag off 133 EMTS ambulances in the state capital on September 10.
The health and family welfare department had purchased the ambulances from Tata Motors in 2010-11. After the national rural health mission (NRHM) was unearthed in 2011, the purchase of the ambulance came under the scanner of the probe agencies.
Even as the probe into the NRHM scam continued, the ambulances remained parked on Tata Motors premises in Lucknow. The director general, national programmes, monitoring and evaluation (DGNPME) had paid Rs 42.51 crore to the firm for the supply of 589 ambulances. While 159 ambulances were sent to the chief medical officers (CMOs) of various districts, the remaining 430 remained stranded on the premises of the firm.
The strength of the EMTS will be increased to 988. In the second phase, it will be launched in Agra, Kanpur, Allahabad divisions, the third phase will cover Faizabad, Lucknow, Devipatan, Gorakhpur, Basti.
In the fourth phase, the services will be started in Varanasi, Azamgarh, Mirzapur. Chitrakoot and Jhansi divisions will be covered in the fifth phase.
The sixth phase will take care of Bareilly and Aligarh divisions.
A health department officer said that on the request of the state government the Lucknow bench of the Allahbad high court had vacated the stay order on the use of the ambulances paving the way for the use of vehicles under the EMTS.
The state government has planned to run the EMTS under PPP mode. The health and family welfare department had tied up with Hyderabad based GVK- EMRI to operate the EMTS.
An officer of the firm told HT that state-of-the-art emergency response centre had been set up in Ashiyana Nagar with toll free number 108 for the EMTS. The firm is operating EMTS in 11 states namely Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The EMTS is being run in two union territories also- Daman and Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli.
Each EMTS will have two members-- a paramedical staff and a driver.