High Court seeks status of air ambulance facility

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday ordered notice and directed the State government to file a status report with regard to the functioning of air ambulance facility in the State, particularly in hilly regions such as Kodaikanal and Ooty.

A Division Bench of Justices N. Kirubakaran and B. Pugalendhi observed that these regions attracted a large number of tourists and given the geographical conditions, it was necessary to have air ambulance to meet medical emergencies. The court also sought to know if the government’s ‘108’ ambulance service was available in rural areas. The court was hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by N. Abdul Rahman Jalal from Madurai.

The petitioner sought a direction to the State to ensure that the emergency medical services functioned properly in Madurai district. He said that many people could not afford private ambulances and were solely dependent on the ‘108’ ambulance service.

He said the State government must ensure that these ambulances were made available at primary health centres so that patients admitted there could be transported quickly to bigger hospitals in case of emergency.

Apart from this, the petitioner also sought a direction to the State to ensure that the bike ambulance facility was put to use and to deploy the Animal Medical Mobile Ambulance services at the ratio of one unit per every revenue division.

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