BENGALURU: In an attempt to make the use of all ambulances a transparent process, the Transport Department has decided to install Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking on private hospital ambulances. The move has been approved by the Transport and Health Departments and is a result of the many complaints on the misuse of these vehicles.
The 108 emergency medical response service that has a control room in the Health Department will be monitoring the GPS-tracked vehicles. The process to install the system in approximately 5,000 ambulances in the state may take over a year or so, said a transport official. Since 2016, all government ambulances under the 108 control room had installed these trackers.
“It may take time as we have to get the work done in phases. It is not possible to get all the ambulances installed with the equipment in one go,” a transport official said. An officer from the ‘108’ services said, “The GPS installation was also aimed at streamlining the management of ambulances. We will be able to know if the ambulance was taken to a private hospital bypassing a government hospital.”
Deputy Director of 108 emergency service, Swathanthra Kumar Banakar, said that the installation of GPS systems may take as it is difficult to bring private and government ambulances under one umbrella. “The plan has been approved but we are yet to decide on how to work this out,” he told The New Indian Express.
In 2016, the Health Department had already initiated GPS tracking in government ambulances. There are 69 four-wheeler and 80 two-wheeler ambulances in Bengaluru, while there are 711 four-wheeler and 32 two-wheeler ambulances in Karnataka.