Ambulance service ailing at Angul DHH (Source: Orissa Post)

Angul: Even as this industry-rich district continues to contribute generously to the state exchequer, it has allegedly missed the development radar of the state with the health sector being the worst-hit.
Leave alone the facilities available at other health centres of the district, even the district headquarters hospital is not equipped with a decent ambulance to shift patients for advance treatment. 
For the records, there are six ambulances in place at the hospital but none of them is in a condition to ferry critical patients to other hospitals. A critical patient at the DHH had a harrowing time Tuesday as the ambulance he boarded along with his wife failed to start. 
According to reports, Pandav Dehuri of Giring village had a major fracture in his left leg after he fell down. The family rushed him to the DHH in a critical condition. Doctors, administering first aid, referred him to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack as his condition was worsening. 
Pandav along with his wife decided to avail the ambulance service of the hospital to reach Cuttack. However, the vehicle didn’t start though the driver tried his best for about half-an-hour. Seeing the condition of the patient, some passersby came forward to push the vehicle to get it started. 
However, after rolling a few yards, the vehicle again stopped. People present at the spot made a last ditch attempt before contacting a private ambulance and fortunately that worked. The ambulance somehow left for Cuttack. 
This was one of the many examples of poor ambulance service offered at the DHH. 
The state government provided 12 ambulances to the district of which two were allocated to the DHH. In the wake of dengue menace in 2011, MCL authorities donated two more ambulances to the hospital. In the meantime, one met with an accident while on the way to Cuttack, while two others suffered from major breakdowns, it was learnt. As a lone ambulance was inadequate to meet the requirement, two more ambulances were brought from the nearby CHCs. However, of these six vehicles, five are lying defunct. The authorities are yet to take any initiative to repair these essential vehicles, it is alleged. 
Meanwhile, the old ambulance of Truck Owners’ Association was pressed into service following two major bus mishaps during last one-and-half month due to shortage of ambulances. Though that ambulance has been kept at the DHH, it hardly works due to poor maintenance. Locals demanded immediate repair of the ambulances to improve patient service.

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