THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The death of a 64-year-old patient in an ambulance in Thrissur due to non-availability of oxygen has brought into sharp focus the pathetic state of ambulance services in the state.
With no strict monitoring and periodic checking of ambulances, patients continue to face high risk. It is in this dismal scenario that Ambulance Networking System with Emergency Response (ANSWER) which is currently being implemented as Trivandrum Rescue Initiative (TRI) in Thiruvananthapuram, has gained significance.
During the last two months as many as 18 trauma cases were successfully handled by TRI. However, in this period certain practical problems too had cropped up. Initially to avail the services one had to dial 100.
But on many occasions it was found that the number was either engaged or there was no response. Since in emergency trauma situations even a wait of couple of minutes could prove costly, the TRI decided to launch a new number for summoning ambulance.
The number 9188100100 will operate out of Cantonment police station. To ensure 24/7 response on this number, IMA has appointed three persons exclusively for handling distress calls.
About 100 ambulances have been registered with TRI (Trauma Rescue Initiative Trivandrum) but at a given time 40 ambulances are visible on the police web portal.
TRI is using the software, web portal and app developed by PRS hospital emergency department head Dr Danish Salim. The entire network is known as Ambulances Networking System with emergency Response (ANSWER).
With the pilot project launched in Thiruvananthapuram receiving good response, during the next phase the IMA, police private hospitals and ambulance services plan to extend the network to five more districts.
Already 60 ambulances have been registered with TRI in Kollam, Pathanamthitta 80, Alappuzha 62, Kottayam 140 and Ernakulam 135.
Though the TRI had also decided to launch a mobile application which would have enabled people to seek ambulances services on App the way Uber taxi is hired, the project has been kept in abeyance for the moment.
The police has not given sanction for launching the App as it wants to route all ambulances service under TRI through its web portal....