Kerala health minister KK Shailaja has directed the Health Secretary to issue the new guidelines on operating ambulance services in the state following COVID-19.
|| Pratyasha Mohanty
In the wake of the incident that had happened in Aranmula where an ambulance driver, raped a 19-year-old COVID-19 patient while taking her to the COVID First-Line Treatment Centre . On keeping the incident on mind the company is also exploring the ways to strengthen the security of the people who are being transported in the ambulance.
The incident, showed that women patients required special protection while being taken to hospital. And several questions were raised towards the state health ministry. First issue was that why was the girl not accompanied by a health worker, secondly as the accused was having a vriminal record how he was assigned on COVID-19 duty.
Thus the Kerala health minister K K Shailaja has directed the health secretary to issue new guidelines. As per the new guidelines the health minister directed the director of health services to order all the district medical officers to ensure that no women is being transported at night after 8pm until and unless emergency is there. Secondly the minister has made it clear that women should be transported via ambulance only if accompanied by female assistant. Meanwhile, the GVK-EMRI group, which is operating the ambulance chain in the state, has directed all its employees to produce fresh police clearance certificates within 15 days and those who would fail to submit the PCC will have to be removed from the service.
As the 108 ambulance chain is functioning under the Kerala emergency medical services project (KEMP) of the national health mission . The KEMP is monitoring the trip details and data of the ambulance service on a day-to-day basis from the control room set up under NHM.
The 108 ambulance chain is used for shifting the emergency cases to the hospitals. But during the Covid season it is being used to shift the positive people from home to first line treatment centers. And with this new guidelines surely the functioning of yhe ambulance chains would again be safe and smooth.