Irfan Tramboo

Critical Care Ambulance Service may soon be a reality in JK

Critical Care Ambulance Service may soon be a reality in JK
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Srinagar: In conflict-ridden Kashmir, the much-awaited Critical Care Ambulance Service aimed at saving precious lives in Jammu and Kashmir may finally become a reality in the coming months as the government has finalized the formalities in finalizing the contract.

With initiating further formalities for the procurement of ambulances equipped with life support, the road seems to have been cleared for the much-needed ambulance service.

Officials sources told Kashmir Vision that the contract has been ‘almost’ finalized and the initiative of Critical Care Ambulance Service shall soon witness a breakthrough.

The service was supposed to be launched in the year 2014, however, due to unknown reason, the service was delayed for almost 4 years now.

“So far, the contract has been almost finalized and there are certain formalities that are being carried out, and it should be done by February next year,” sources said.

Notably, there has been an unprecedented delay of more than four years in the initiation of the lifesaving service in the state. The JK Medical Supplies Corporation (JKMSCL) was tasked for the tendering process of the same, however, the corporation could not finalize the process due to reasons better known to them.

Principal Secretary, Health & Medical Education (H&ME) Atal Dulloo also said that there has been a progress in initiating the service and that the tendering process, in this regard, was almost done.

“Tendering is done and the process shall culminate by the end of this month, after that, there are other procedures that will be taken care of and that too shall not take more than 1-2 months. By next year, we are hopeful that the service shall start,” he said.

When asked why has there been a delay in the initiation of the service in the state, he said there were some issues with the tendering process, “but, all that has been sorted out,” he said.

The Critical care ambulance service (108) was initially started in 2005 in India as a Govt-Private initiative and is reported to have brought about a drastic change in the trauma management across several states of the country.

In the state, under National Health Mission, the service was supposed to kick-start in 2013-14, but the uneven delay of four years has put breaks on the efforts of the health department that are aimed at managing the trauma patients across the state.

Currently, the ambulances that are available with the hospitals across the state are nothing but a transport to carry patients from peripheries to the tertiary care hospitals.

The Critical care ambulance service, however, are equipped with the facilities that are provided to the patients in case of severe emergency, especially to the victims of road accidents and other traumas, the rate of which is higher in the state.

The Union ministry of Road Transport and Highways, under the Highway Accident Relief Service Scheme, has also allocated more than 13 crore rupees to the state for the procurement of ambulances equipped with life support system.

Irfan Tramboo

Irfan Tramboo is a reporter and covers education and health and can be contacted [email protected]

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