VIJAYAWADA: In a bid to improve healthcare services for tribals, the Health department is contemplating increasing the number of feeder ambulances in Agency areas of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, East Godavari, West Godavari and Prakasam districts. As on date, there are about 100 feeder ambulances which shift critically ill patients, particularly pregnant women, to hospitals. Besides, 43 ambulance services, including 108 and 104, are under operation in Agency areas.
The government is keen to make feeder ambulances available in every mandal as in the case of 108 and 104 services. Even the expert committee constituted by the State government reportedly felt the need for more number of feeder ambulances in the State.
Speaking to TNIE, a senior official of Health department said, “Health services in the Agency areas are good but there is a great need for quickly ferrying patients especially pregnant women to hospitals. Though there are ambulances, they are not serving the purpose as they are unable to reach the interior parts. The feeder ambulances are very helpful in such circumstances.”
As normal ambulances are bulky four-wheelers they are unable to move on narrow Agency roads. Because of this, many people living on hills in Agency tracts are losing their lives. Considering this, the previous government had launched feeder ambulances which are compact and sturdy two-wheelers.
“Tribal people are finding it very difficult to reach the nearest medical centre or hospital in times of emergency. They are still being carried in ‘dolis’. The government should come up with a permanent solution to the problem.” Dr T Uday Kiran, member of Ethical Practitioner Forum, said.