The Punjab Health Systems Corporation has slapped a fine of Rs 11.98 lakh on Ziqitza Healthcare Limited, the company which manages all Emergency Control System ambulances (commonly called 108 ambulances) in the state.
There are around 300 ambulances in the state and many of these vehicles, hired to take trauma patients to hospitals, have been found to be operating without proper oxygen equipment. Various other instances of negligence have also been reported.
The issue was first raised by AAP MLA from Ropar Dinesh Chadha who, following an inspection in his constituency, identified serious deficiencies in the ambulances. He found that the ambulance at Government Hospital, Ropar, was operating without oxygen pipes in it and its tyres were also in a poor condition. “It is a clear-cut case of misuse of public money by making payments to the company which is playing with lives of public,” said Chadha.
Following this, the Punjab Health Systems Corporation carried out an inspection of all ambulances in the state and found serious negligence on the part of the company. Eight ambulances were found to be unfit and in need of immediate replacement and three were found to be in a very poor condition.
It was found that there were no oxygen pipes in the 108 Ambulance provided to Government Hospital Singpur (Nurpur Bedi). Even regular service of this ambulance had been due for a long time.
As per a communication sent to the company last week, a detail inspection report of all ambulances across the state has been prepared and a penalty of Rs 11,98,001 has been imposed on Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd for negligence in maintenance of ambulances in Punjab. Tribune India