Ambulance shortage plagues border villages of Chamarajanagar

When TNIE tried to contact the health officials, including the district health officer, they were unavailable for comments.
A woman who delivered a baby in a car being brought to Hanur Primary Health Centre
A woman who delivered a baby in a car being brought to Hanur Primary Health Centre

MYSURU: The remote villages along the borders of Chamarajanagar district are facing severe challenges owing to the unavailability of operational ambulance services, causing significant hardship for residents.

For the past six months, the ambulance at the Hanur Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Hanur Taluk has been out of service, leaving the villagers without a crucial lifeline. The situation in MM Hills is equally dire, with the ambulance, which was purchased a decade ago, now useless due to the lack of tyres, that has been parked inside the PHC. The only operational ambulance is the one that belongs to Kowdahalli PHC, but it takes time to cover all these places and is usually operational for emergency services.

These mechanical failures have left villagers stranded in times of medical emergencies. The gravity of the situation was starkly highlighted when a pregnant woman on Monday, unable to access ambulance services, was forced to deliver her baby inside a private car.

A pregnant woman from Ponnachi village in Hanur taluk, who experienced labour pain, tried to book the ambulance only to be informed that there were no ambulances available and the one belonging to Kowdalli would take a while to reach. Upon getting information from an ASHA worker, the woman was immediately taken in a private car belonging to a social activist, and on the way, the woman delivered a baby.

Villagers recount tales of anxiety and distress as they struggle to transport patients to hospitals. With no functioning ambulances, they are left to rely on private vehicles, which are often unsuitable for urgent medical transport. Local leaders and residents are calling for immediate action from the health authorities.“This is a matter of life and death,” says Mahesha, a resident of Hanur. “We urge the government to address this issue promptly and ensure that our ambulances are made operational or get new and more ambulances for service,” he adds.

When TNIE tried to contact the health officials, including the district health officer, they were unavailable for comments.

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