Causing enough misery for the patients and their wards, two ambulances of Government Rajindra Hospital have been remaining stranded outside the emergency ward of the hospital over past three years. The hospital authorities cite lack of drivers for the emergency vehicles remaining untilised.
The ambulances were allotted to the hospital so that critical patients, who were referred to PGI, Chandigarh, could avail the facility at half a price. However, over the years none of the ambulances have been used to serve its purpose. Rather it caused harrowing times to several patients and their family members.
Sources said out of the two drivers at the hospital one is presently being used for medical superintendent's vehicle and the other to drop and pick call on doctors for gynaecology department.
One of the ambulances has been lying in defunct over the past three years in the hospital. Seven years back the hospital had around eight drivers. But no recruitment was done as the employed drivers kept on retiring, said sources.
On contractual basis three drivers were hired but due to non-payment of salaries they quit. The off road ambulances have not been fuelled for long as the hospital has failed to clear earlier debt.
Patients alleged that due to non-availability of government ambulances at the hospital private contractors have been taking privilege of the situation and charging huge from patients.
Rahul Sharma a patient said, "Why aren't the funds used to hire drivers for the ambulances. What's the point of having ambulances if they cannot be used for our benefits?"
The ambulances have been gathering dust over the years and are turning into rustic metal, right under the nose of authorities, who have turned a blind eye to the issue.
Deputy medical superintendent Dr Harshinder Kaur passed the buck on senior officials and said, "This is not under my purview, contact senior officials on this."