The state government has proposed to begin an emergency ambulance service at least in Mumbai before the year ends.
The service will be available 24x7 for any sort of medical emergency especially accident cases on roads or at railway stations. This suggestion was made at a recent meeting jointly held by state government and Central Railway officials last week.
“We told the state government that arranging ambulances outside railway stations would be a difficult task for us, especially with so many stations. Now, they have promised that within six months, emergency ambulance services would be provided at least in Mumbai,” said a senior CR official on condition on anonymity.
The CR has produced a list of states that have been providing free medical ambulances under the emergency medical response service (EMRS).
“We will float tenders for emergency ambulance services by the end of this month,” said Bhushan Gagrani, secretary, public health department.
The operator running this service is expected to be decided within three months of floating tenders.
As per the proposal prepared, the government would provide 1,000 ambulances across the state in the next two years available under the scheme. These would be procured at a cost of Rs200 crore out of which,
Rs 110 crore would be provided by the Government of India as capital investment. The recurring expenditure would be taken care of by the state government.
“Health, to a large extent, is a state subject and so we have been arguing that it is better that they provide ambulances even outside railway stations,” added the CR official. There is a public interest litigation filed by Sameer Zaveri for providing ambulances outside railway stations.
With regards to the petition, railways suggested the state should arrange for the ambulances while the state said the railways could tie up several private hospitals located outside stations for speedy treatment of the victims.