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Private purse for trauma care

- Tata Steel to roll out four 24x7 ambulances for road mishap victims

A private company is set to beat the state government in providing specialised trauma care to road accident victims.

Tata Steel will be gifting Jamshedpur 24x7 road traffic accident (RTA) rescue ambulance service, arguably the first in the state, from April 2014. The steel major has already received a go-ahead from the East Singhbhum district administration at a time Jharkhand’s much-touted highway trauma centres and 108 ambulance service remain a non-starter.

The rescue fleet has been loosely modelled on Kolkata Accident Rescue and Medical Assistance (Karma), a joint initiative of Calcutta police, Medica Superspecialty Hospital and Eastern India Healthcare Foundation, providing 24-hour trauma care to road mishap victims since March 2012. Each ambulance will cost nearly Rs 14 lakh. Tata Steel will also bear the estimated Rs 1.5 lakh incurred on expenses like fuel, maintenance, medicines and consumables every year.

Confirming the initiative, general manager (medical services) T.P. Madhusudanan said they had requested the district authorities to identify accident-prone zones for judicious deployment of the ambulances.

“We need exact statistics like the number of mishaps taking place in the city and the accident-prone zones on a yearly basis. We plan to station the ambulances at places that are near accident zones and remain open for 24 hours like police stations, hospitals, fire stations and so on. For example, for Golmuri-Telco and Golmuri-Baridih, we have plans to keep the ambulance at Tinplate Hospital,” he added.

In the past five years till 2012, 789 people have died in road mishaps in the city. Last year, the count was 189, while till November this year, there has been around 135 fatal accidents.

According to the proposal presented jointly by Tata Steel’s vice-president (corporate services) Sunil Bhaskaran and Jusco managing director Ashish Mathur to East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal this month, the corporate house will use Type-C ambulances having sophisticated equipment like ventilators and other life support system.

To begin with, four such fully air-conditioned Type-C ambulances with a trained nurse and paramedic on board will hit the roads. Every vehicle will have a database of city hospitals in the city where the victims can be rushed into in the shortest time possible.

A police constable will also accompany an ambulance on its way from the mishap spot to the nearest hospital. The global positioning system (GPS) in the vehicles will help district police and command centre track them down.

“We have asked the district administration to work out a mechanism of reimbursing the cost of treatment to the hospitals and provide us with a helpline that anybody can access to get the free service,” Madhusudhanan said.

East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal said he had already asked deputy superintendent of police (traffic) R.M. Sinha to identify accident-prone zones and furnish the list to Tata Steel.

“It is a welcome move. The administration will extend all help necessary to kick-start the trauma care facility for road accident victims,” Kaushal said.

Will the Tata initiative be an eye-opener for the state? Tell

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