RTI success story – Increase in number of ambulance in Delhi
Readers would be happy to note how a RTI application has led to an improvement in the shortage of emergency vehicles in the Capital. As reported by wide sections of media including this site, the reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act had revealed the poor state of Delhi’s emergency response system. The RTI reply had revealed:
- A shortage of ambulances,
- Out of the 35 ambulance operating, 31 were purchased before the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
- Severe shortage of staff shortage which lead to the driver, playing the role of the paramedic.
The Chief Minister of Delhi Ms. Sheila Dikshit has launched 70 new ambulances acquired by the Centralised Accident and Trauma Service (CATS) taking the number of available ambulance to 101. It has been reported that 50 more ambulance would be launched soon to take the number to 151, which is much nearer to the ambulance to people ratio of one for 1 lakh prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO). By this ration, Delhi should have 160 ambulances for emergency healthcare services.
The improvement in the fleet would go a long way in saving the lives of patients. An efficient ambulance system which is capable of responding to medical emergencies is necessary for institutional and safe deliveries and would reduce infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate.
Now, the CATS ambulances will now be manned by a driver and a paramedic who have undergone an intensive three-week training course in ambulance services. All the ambulances would be monitored through a central control room, which includes tracking and location services. Anyone can contact the control room through a toll free number 102 and this control room is also connected to the police and fire control rooms.