HC seeks information from UP govt on ambulance drivers

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The Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to inform it of the measures taken to maintain adequate number of drivers and staff in ‘108’ and ‘102’ ambulances, which were meant to provide services to Covid infected patients.

While hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, a registered society, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Piyush Agrawal listed this case for the next hearing on February 14.

According to the petitioner, the government had purchased around 4,515 ambulances in order to provide emergency medical transport services in the state.

The state government had entered into an agreement with the service provider companies whose purpose was to run the ambulances through centralised call centres and also provide manpower, including driver and technical staff.

In the petition, it was stated that in case of the spread of the Covid pandemic, there may be requirement of ambulance staff for 24 hours. In order to maintain shifts of eight hours, there is a need of 27,090 drivers and technical staff each, for running 102 and 108 ambulances every day.

However, only 6,000 drivers and technicians have been hired by the service provider company.

During the course of the hearing, the counsel for the petitioner argued that during the second wave of the pandemic, many ambulance drivers got infected and were quarantined for 14 days.

If such a situation arises again, the government and service providers must ensure a sufficient number of staff for proper ambulance services in the state.

The petitioner requested that for each ambulance, at least three drivers and three technical staff be appointed for the eight-hour shifts as any shift of more than eight hours will increase the risk of accidents due to increased workload.

20220106-142302

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