BHUBANESWAR: Even as the State Government blamed the Centre for ‘holding back’ mass vaccination programme which has led to a surge in Japanese Encephalitis (JE) deaths in Malkangiri, the Collector attributes it to poor ambulance service in the district.
Collector K Sudarshan Chakravarthy, in a recent meeting, expressed displeasure over performance of 108 and 102 ambulances and blamed the lack of coordination between cluster coordinators and the CDMO. A copy of the proceedings of the review meeting, chaired by the Collector recently, is with this paper.
Chakravarthy said he has received frequent complaints against 108 and 102 ambulances for not reaching the beneficiaries on time which is why people have been facing difficulties in getting medical aid.
“Some times, deaths also occurred specially among sick children as well as the antenatal care (ANC) and postnatal care (PNC) cases due to delayed ambulance services,” the proceeding stated.
It was found that both 108 and 102 ambulances are not positioned at the headquarters assigned to them and out of eight 102 Ambulances, four were off road as on September 20. This has exposed the directorate of National Health Mission (NHM) which often claims that the ambulances have been rendering laudable services despite limitations.
Not only the Collector, medical officers of several hospitals in the district also alleged that the call centres of the ambulances were not responding to requests of pharmacists and other paramedic staff.
“The call centre executives insist that they would respond only to medical officers, and not to any hospital staff. But it is not always possible on the part of the doctor to make call to control rooms/call centres as they are occupied with other assignments in the hospitals,” they pointed out.
Besides, the cluster coordinators were found to be leaving headquarters without informing the CDMO making it difficult to contact them during emergency.
The meeting decided that the working condition of the medical equipment of 108 and 102 ambulances will be carried out each month jointly by a designated medical officer of DHH/CHCs and the cluster coordinators of the ambulance services.
Inspection report of every ambulance will be submitted to CDMO by 5th of each month unfailingly and the defunct equipment repaired within a day.