|Published : 17 Oct 2016, 23:03:42|
Highlight: In this country, ambulances are not well-equipped; nor do paramedics accompany those in order to provide the primary support until patients are taken to hospital
Ambulance is a vehicle meant for saving ailing people, not to crush them under its wheels. But on Saturday last an ambulance, contrary to its assigned role, killed four people including a pregnant woman and that too just in front of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital in the city. It lost control and hit eight people on the footpath right in front of the hospital gate. Reports have it that at the time of the accident, the ambulance was driven by the assistant of the driver. This explains the tragic accident. That ambulances have been involved in accidents is a rare incident and still rarer is the fact of those killing people in such circumstances. This is notwithstanding the fact that the country is ill-reputed for high incidence of road accidents.
It is a common practice for drivers in general to allow their assistants to take to the steering wheels. The assistants try their hands in order to learn the skill for driving. Such inept handling of vehicles sometimes becomes fatal. That the practice should be replicated for driving an ambulance is totally unacceptable. But when drivers are not educated enough and lacks the right kind of attitudes towards human life, they feel no qualm about delegating the charge to one who is yet to learn to skilfully handle a vehicle. Now that an ambulance has crashed into people, there is genuine fear of recurrence of similar incidents in the future. Now that both have been arrested, they should be meted out exemplary punishment so that it acts as a deterrent.
An ambulance, by definition, ought to be equipped with some emergency medical support system in order to take care of a critical patient on way to hospital. It is given the priority it deserves on roads even in crowded traffic. So it is expected that the man or woman at the steering wheel would be a highly skilled driver. Skill is however not all. Such a driver has to be a dutiful and responsible person who tries his/her best to take a patient to healthcare facilities in double quick time. In this country, ambulances are not well-equipped; nor do paramedics accompany those in order to provide the primary support until patients are taken to hospital.
Clearly, the entire system of ambulance service needs revision. Introduction of paramedics to ambulance instead of relatives accompanying patients counts most in critical conditions of a patient. An ambulance does not mean that it will blare its sirens only and be driven by men without conscience and respect for human life. The system has to be better equipped in order to lessen the suffering of patients in the thick traffic congestion. Overall, the service has to be manned by people who know their jobs well. The bottom line is to make the system more caring. At the same time abuse of such vehicles has to be stopped through proper vigilance.