VIJAYAWADA: The State government is planning to scrap all the 108 vehicles in the State and purchase new ones. The officials of the Health department have decided to alter specification of the new ambulances to make it more convenient for pregnant women and other patients. According to the interim report submitted by the expert committee to the State government, 108 ambulance service and 104 health services in the State are in a pathetic condition and a large number of vehicles are being operated for more than 7-10 years.
At present, the number of 108 ambulances stood at 440 and most of them are over seven years old and in a bad condition. As such, the committee recommended to the government to buy new vehicles. There are also 89 advanced life support ambulances, bought in 2017, in the State. The government spent over `10 lakh for each advanced ambulance vehicle. According to sources, these ambulances are also going to be scrapped.
The State government is planning to purchase 676 ambulances — one for each mandal. There are complaints that it is difficult for pregnant women to enter the ambulance due to height issue. The steps in the ambulances are quite steep and patients who don’t need stretcher find it difficult to enter in it.
At present, the State has two kinds of ambulances — basic life support ambulances and advanced life support ambulances with defibrillators to help heart patients. The government is going to purchase all the ambulances with defibrillators and new specifications for the convenience of patients.
The State government had allotted `143.38 crore in State Budget for 108 ambulance services. The decision to purchase 676 vehicles is likely to put additional burden on the government. Sources said the State government would call tenders for the purchase of ambulances in mid-September.