CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu government is planning to map ambulances in the State and delist old unsized ambulances over allegations that they were being used for illegal activities, and to adhere to the National Ambulance code under Central Motor Vehicle Rules. During the Road Safety Council meeting recently, chaired by Chief Secretary, regional transport officers were instructed to delist the old unsized ambulances.
It is learnt that the government is keen that ambulances should not be run by private individuals or private institution or any trust. The government wants ambulances to be run by properly registered institutions attached to hospitals.
While delisting old unsized ambulances and filtering regular ambulances running in the State, RTOs could map both private ambulances and 108 ambulances, sources said. It is learnt there are nearly 5,000 private ambulances and 1,000 EMRI ‘108’ ambulances in the State. Mapping is likely to be done under single umbrella for good use of ambulances.
Sources said in 2014, the transport commissioner issued a circular that those vehicles manufactured exclusively as ambulances and certified by testing agencies alone should be registered as ambulances and alteration of other category vehicles has been completely stopped. It is learnt that the health department has been requested to issue a circular on the standardising procedure of ambulances to be followed as per the new National Ambulance code, which defines the constructional and functional requirements of the vehicles.
This also comes as the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in collaboration with Union Health Ministry, issued a notification for National Ambulance Code applicable for all ambulances across the country. The code had stipulated that existing ambulances should be standardised by April 1, 2018. Currently, there is no standardisation of ambulance design across various procurements. The interiors of ambulances are often not ergonomically designed and have sharp edges. The oxygen system used in most vehicles is not certified for medical oxygen.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in collaboration with Union Health Ministry, had issued a notification for National Ambulance Code applicable for all ambulances across the country