Bengaluru: The much-awaited two-wheeler ambulances finally hit the streets in Karnataka on Wednesday.
Health Minister U.T. Khader, who launched 30 first responder bike ambulances in Bengaluru on Tuesday, said his department was working at introducing air ambulances in the State by year end. Two companies have evinced interest in taking up the air ambulance project, he said.
Mr Khader terming the bike ambulance project as a “platinum 10 minutes” trauma care initiative. In Bengaluru on Wednesday the bikes will be flagged off by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Aimed at reducing deaths owing to road accidents, the platinum trauma care initiative is useful for negotiating heavy traffic in urban areas where it is difficult for four-wheeler ambulances to reach.
Of the 30 bike ambulances, 21 will be stationed at strategic locations in the city and one each in the districts of Mysuru, Mangaluru, Kalaburgi, Belagavi, Hubbali-Dharwad, Davangere, Tumakuru, Vijayapura and Shivamogga. The initiative will be implemented through GVK-EMRI, the organisation that runs the 108 Arogya Kavacha ambulance service. The bike ambulance rider will be a trained paramedic.
“The paramedic will reach the spot in ten minutes and give first aid and start resuscitation measures to save the victim till the four-wheeler ambulance arrives,” Mr. Khader said. Each bike ambulance will carry 40 medical items, including stethoscope, pulse oximeter, bandages, and IV normal saline, apart from 53 basic drugs. The government has spent nearly Rs. 2 lakh on each bike ambulance.
A year after it was announced, the State government’s road traffic accident relief scheme is all set to be rolled out next week.
Mr. Khader told presspersons on Tuesday that the scheme will be launched by Mr. Siddaramaiah next week. The scheme, implemented with assistance from the Chief Minister’s medical relief fund, aims to bear the treatment cost incurred up to 48 hours of admitting to government empanelled hospitals. It would bear the treatment cost only up to Rs. 25,000.