In a unique initiative, the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) is procuring two battery operated ambulances for in-house use. These will solve the problem of taking patients from casualty to wards or to different laboratories of diagnostic testing facilities within the hospital premises.

The ambulances will take the patient up to the bed in the ward. GMCH is also procuring a battery operated cargo carrier that would be used to transport oxygen cylinders, autoclaved instruments for operation theatres, patients' and doctors' clothing etc.

The ambulances will help hospital do away with the need of having stretchers or wheel chairs that are either not available or are not in usable condition. Even if they are available, the Class IV staff demands money from patients for this service. With many posts attendants vacant, ambulances can help as two persons would be able to do several persons' work.

Rs 30-35 lakh needed for the two ambulances and cargo carrier are being donated by the 'Students Cooperative Store' and thus would not be a burden on the college administration or the medical education department. "We will not require any clearance from the government and will get them at the earliest. We have already placed the order and the vehicles could be here in about a fortnight," said dean Dr A Niswade.

The students' cooperative in-charge and professor of pathology in GMCH Dr D Kumbhalkar told TOI that the cooperative had been donating funds for many such good initiatives. This June, the cooperative which has been running a store since 1976 and a subsidized pharmacy within the GMCH campus had donated Rs 5 lakh to Chief Minister's relief fund. "Once these vehicles prove their utility we could think of bringing in more of them," he said.

These ambulances will be available on call to the driver and will move around in all the three (ground +two) floors in the hospital. They will normally be stationed at casualty. Each can carry a patient and two relatives. It has a place for stretcher and two chairs for the relatives. The carrier will serve multiple purposes and will also cover entire hospital.

(This news story is from The Times of India)