A decade of national ambulances services in India: learnings and way forward
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National Health Systems Resource Centre, New Delhi, India
National Health System Resource Center, Munirka, India
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A981
Background and Objective: Referral transport is an indispensable part of health care delivery system of any country. A decade has passed since the launch of National ambulance services and over these years the country has witnessed a significant change in its referral mechanism. India being the second most populous country in the world fought the pandemic with its limited resources and preparedness and utilised the existing referral transport system for managing the Covid affected patients. This paper analyses the existing ambulance care delivery system in the country, highlights the steps and strategies taken by the Government in augmenting the capacity of the referral transport system in the wake of Covid 19 and the learnings thereafter. Methods: It is a qualitative descriptive study. Secondary data has been collated and analysed from various government portals, published guidelines and articles. Field visits reports and inputs based upon experiences have also been documented. The analysis was simply done on Microsoft excel. Results: While the accessibility and affordability for referral services have improved over the years, a gap in the timely and assured deployment, along with the quality of services still exists which calls for further strengthening of the existing referral transport system in the country. Conclusions: While the pandemic is still lingering around in different forms and variants across the world, a sustainable health system strengthening approach and preparedness is necessary to prevent any public health emergency in future. The country needs an integrated model which is responsive to the needs of the population for meeting their medical, surgical, accidental, and other emergencies along with assured transport with a trained technician. The paper highlights upon the specific areas which needs strengthening of the existing ambulances system, along with the proposed plan to experience a robust emergency and referral care delivery system in the country.
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