Hyderabad: Though the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines recommend that there must be one ambulance for every one lakh population, things seem to be worse in Telangana. As per the government records, there are only 632 (108 and 102) ambulances in the state for the whole of its population that is close to four crores.
The data was obtained by the Society for Safety of Public and Good Governance, through an RTI query. “There are many instances where the drivers are working in multiple shifts. Especially, after the pandemic, the necessity of ambulances became more vital for the society,” said an ambulance driver requesting anonymity.
He further added that the 102 ambulances - which are 299 in total - cater particularly to pregnant women for pre-natal and antenatal medical care.
“Some ambulances do not have the basics, while some do not have an oxygen tank, others do not have equipment required for cardio-related ailments. In many instances, these government-run ambulances take you to the nearest government hospital,” said V. Lakshmi, a resident of Marredpally. She also recalled an instance where she wanted to go to a private hospital, but the ambulance driver was firm on taking her to Gandhi Hospital, with the patient.
It is not just the hospital that is a point of concern, even the speed at which these ambulances are supposed to reach the medical facility is curtailed. “There are speed governors in the ambulances which prevent us from travelling at high speeds. Since we are providing emergency services, the governors must be disabled,” said an ambulance driver....