Time is Precious : Story of Ambulances in India

India, a country with more than a billion people traffic is always a problem in its cities. Roads are clogged with vehicles all around. You can see bikers trying to carve a path through the dense traffic. Along with all the bikers, there stands an ambulance trying to make its way through.

Time is of at most importance. Most of the emergencies are treatable and can be cured if the ambulance reaches the hospital in time. This is where the problem begins. What can be done to make the journey of an ambulance easier ?

India is a hugely populated country. Almost every road is clogged in its cities during busy times. India unlike most of the developed countries does not have a dedicated lane for ambulances. So what if we construct individual lanes for ambulances ? We got a solution haven’t we ?

Maybe not yet. Construction of dedicated lanes on major roads would cost the government hundreds of crores, even though it’s possible and necessary,  it’s not possible to construct dedicated lanes for ambulances in cities.  And provided the traffic, we can’t expect all vehicles to stay away from lanes. After all we still ride on walkways don’t we ?

So, are we the reason ? Are we blocking the ambulances on its path ? If the question has been asked a few years ago,  then the question would have been “Yes”. But society has enough awareness to allow ambulances “If it is possible”.  Why “if possible” ?  Well,  not all the roads are big enough to allow traffic on either sides or in other words, not all roads are four-laned. Other than major roads connecting major junctions,  most roads inside the city is “Double Lane”,  which means vehicles ride on both directions. Most roads are congested. This means the vehicle in front of the ambulance would find it hard to give way as it can’t go on either side of the road.

So, isn’t there any solution to this problem ? In short term, maybe not. In long term,  the infrastructure of the country would improve to support its growing problem. But in short term, some decisions can be made to reduce its effects.

  1. Hospitals with emergency wards should be constructed on major roads or close to them. This would reduce the transit time of ambulances to some extent.
  2. Number of ambulances in a region can be increased,  thus reducing the response time.
  3. When you see an ambulance, allow it to pass though you as soon as you can and pray that the person reaches hospital in time.

Numerous policies taken by the government has dramatically improved the situation. But there is still a long way to go. If you have any suggestion on how this can be improved, comment below.


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