Govt to regulate ambulances

Published On: March 9, 2017 01:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 9: In a bid to check arbitrary purchase and operation of ambulances, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has formulated the Ambulance Service Operation Guidelines 2017.

The guidelines have been tabled at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday for approval. Due to the lack of a separate ambulance service policy, the service has not been accessible and affordable for the ordinary people, according to the MoH, which does not have records on the number of ambulances operating in the country.

“The ambulance service guidelines have been brought to make it more service-oriented and easily accessible for all,” said Jeevan Bhandari, press advisor to Health Minister Gagan Thapa. “Body color patterned with red, green and yellow; same siren sound for all, blue color bulb light, license plate in both Nepali and English languages, star of life emblem, and four-wheel drive system among other things are a must for an ambulance,” he added. 

The guidelines have classified ambulances in three categories -- A, B, and C as per the facilities. “All ambulances must have medical equipment, oxygen, stretcher, siren and emergency light,” he said. “The ambulances cannot be used for purposes other than ferrying patients.”

“Additionally, the drivers should strictly abide by the driving rules and regulations,” said Bhandari. “The driver must be above 25 with first aid know-how.”

According to the guidelines, all of the operating ambulances should take permission within the current fiscal year and all of them should submit service reports to the district health offices every four months.

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