New Delhi: The Delhi government has asked its hospitals to utilise its ambulance service, Centralised Accident and Trauma Services (CATS), to transport pregnant women to and from the hospitals. The circular was issued in light of underutilisation of the service.The hospitals have also been asked to ensure that the ambulance service is used for inter-hospital transfers of pregnant women.“Presently, in comparison to institutional deliveries, utilisation of CATS ambulances for transportation of pregnant women for delivery and also for dropping home is very less and needs to be improved. All hospitals and medical institutions are requested to utilise CATS ambulance for this purpose by calling the centralised control room on the toll free number ‘102’,” said the circular.Last year, more than 3.2 lakh institutional births (births in hospitals, nursing homes and other health facilities) took place in Delhi.“Currently, when it comes to maternal services, only 50% of our capacity is utilised. We want more women to take help of these free facilities during pregnancy and after child birth,” said a Delhi government official.“The problem is that many people do not know that the CATS ambulance can be used to get a drop back home after a delivery. So, people end up arranging their own conveyance,” the official added. The facility will also be available for newborns who need special care or treatment at a higher centre.Recently, after reports of two newborns passing away while travelling from one hospital to another in search of ventilators emerged, the Chief Minister directed all hospitals to ensure that the ambulance service is arranged for, and the availability of ventilators is checked before a patient is referred.