Need for ambulance in Madurai villages must be addressed: former minister

‘A patient died waiting for ambulance and then an oxygen bed’

The State government should immediately take stock of the number of ambulance vehicles across each district and ensure that no patient waited for more than 15 minutes for the emergency vehicles to reach the destination, said former minister and AIADMK MLA R.B. Udhayakumar on Tuesday.

Addressing reporters after distributing kabasura kudineer to the people in Thirumangalam constituency, he alleged that waiting in vain for an ambulance for hours, a 31-year-old COVID-19 patient Bharanikumar of Mooduvarpatti had died due to COVID on Monday.

He said that the patient, who required Oxygen and admission in the hospital, was waiting for an ambulance. As the ambulance did not turn up, he managed to get into a goods vehicle passing the village and after travelling 30 kms, reached the Government Hospital. Again, the waiting time was long, the patient, who was admitted in the ward, was unable to get a bed with Oxygen and finally died.

The former minister claimed that during the AIADMK regime, they had furnished the number of ambulances available with the call centre. As per the demands or requirements, the vehicles were allotted. “We ensured that the waiting time was not more than 20 minutes,” he said.

Moreover, based on the inputs on the door-to-door survey carried out by the Village Health Nurses for fever or other ailments, the senior officials could relocate ambulances to any particular hamlet or panchayats. Thus, on call, the vehicles could reach and pick up the patients to the nearest hospitals for treatment.

In Madurai, on Monday alone, 1453 patients had tested positive for Covid-19 and 16 had died. According to the information, 753 were from Corporation limits and 700 from rural pockets. The district administration should concentrate on the welfare of the people in rural habitations as Madurai had 420 panchayats and 13 panchayat unions, Mr Udhayakumar said and hoped the officials would act swiftly and bring down the numbers.

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