July 24, 2008

TN to launch centralised ambulance service

A centralised ambulance service would be launched in Tamil Nadu by the end of next month with Chennai as its base, state Health Minister M R K Pannerselvam said on Wednesday.

The service would be operated by the Emergency Medical Research Institute in Triplicane, he told reporters.

A hotline would be provided to callers from anywhere in the state to contact the control room which has the facility of geographic mapping of the caller through satellite and the patient will be picked up and transferred to the nearest hospital in ambulances fitted with emergency facilities.

Initially the government would provide 198 ambulances to the institute.

Hitherto, ambulance services were entrusted with non-governmental agencies. However, it had not been clicked due to various reasons.

The Minister, who earlier inspected taluk and headquarters hospitals in the district, said the government had recommended to the TN Medical Service Commission to appoint new doctors to the posts where existing personnel had gone on long leave.

"The government had asked the commission to recruit 150 doctors immediately and 800 in the next year, he said.

The government was evolving a strategy to ensure that the taluk hospitals had their full strength of doctors in the specific specialties, he said.

On the functioning of the PHCs, he said the government was extending various facilities such as solar water heating and inverters. Even hiring of private doctors by the PHCs was permitted, he said adding that this would ensure that poor villagers need not shit to private hospitals.

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