For ambulances, snarls come in way of saving lives

Ferrying critically ill patients, most of the time these remain stuck in jams on roads leading to big Chandigarh hospitals

Chandigarh, February 4

Though time is the first causality when it comes to a medical emergency, ambulances in India don’t keep count of the number of lives lost to traffic congestion. Stuck between the devil and the deep sea while ferrying critically ill patients to big city hospitals, most ambulance service providers rue traffic bottlenecks on state roads leading to Chandigarh.

Their grouse reflects the inept medical and health sector in Punjab and Haryana’s smaller cities and villages.

The Tribune correspondent, while tailing the ambulances at city’s most frequented government-run hospitals to identify the gridlock glitches during peak hours, found that there was no service lane leading to PGI’s Trauma Centre from the roundabout ahead of Panjab University Gate No. 1. The perpetually under-repair Sector 11/12/14/15 roundabout obstructed the traffic flow. Other areas like The Tribune roundabout, Sector 8 traffic lights and under-construction Mohali-Kharar flyover were also a major cause of concern for ambulances racing against time.