In a bid to ensure better health services to the general public in the state, the Vigilance Bureau with the assistance of medical teams and engineers/mechanics of PRTC/Transport department, conducted surprise checking of Ambulances operating under 108 telephone facility across the state.Disclosing this here today, ADGP-cum-Chief Director, Vigilance Bureau Mr. BK Uppal said that the Bureau had been receiving complaints about the poor condition of these ambulances, therefore the Vigilance Bureau decided to conduct a state-wide surprise checking.He further informed that during this special drive, the teams inspected the condition of the vehicles along with specified equipment installed and other instructions for the staff deputed with these Ambulances. Ambulances were inspected when they were not being used for duty during this drive so that the emergency duties are not affected, added Mr. Uppal. He further informed that the Bureau had roped in officials from health department and transport department to check the condition of ambulance vehicles and availability as well as condition of life saving medicines, equipment and other items that are supposed to be maintained by the contractor company in the ambulance vehicles, thoroughly.
Taking serious note of various irregularities observed during surprise checks, a detailed report would be sent to the Health Department to improve the 108 Ambulance service in the state, the Vigilance Chief said.Mr Uppal said the most important items of the ambulance such as collapsible stretchers and Pulse Oxymeters are not in working condition in most of the ambulances. “In addition, all the lifesaving drugs and recovery kits were also not available in these vehicles”, he informed.Divulging more Mr Uppal said the teams had found that air conditioning system, inverters and other necessary equipment like gas cutter, fire extinguishers etc. were found non-functional or outdated in many Ambulances, even in some cases the spare tyre was also missing. Vehicle maintenance and cleanliness/hygiene was also very poor in some Ambulances. It was also observed that in most cases, drivers and paramedics were not wearing proper uniforms. Vehicles were 8-10 years old besides medical equipment was also not replaced with new items after a specific prescribed period.He further revealed that only one oxygen cylinder was containing Oxygen and the second cylinder was found empty in almost all the Ambulances. Many vehicles were found without fitness certificates, insurance and pollution certificates. Even backdoors of some vehicles were not in proper working condition and were found with problems such as ‘rooftop leakage’.