Ambulances Always Have Right Of Way- Get This Clear Pune!

Image used for representation only. Image: Justdial

Pune is probably one of the few cities where you can see an ambulance on the road, struggling to make its way through the traffic that refuses to move out of its way.

Tragically, several cases are brought late to the hospitals resulting in delayed medical attention and often fatality.

According to the World Health Organisation, there should be one ambulance per one lakh people. However, it is not clear how many cities are covered by the WHO. The government runs nearly 24,000 ambulances across India under the National Ambulance Service, data on private ambulances is hard to come by.

A study conducted by UNICEF also states that lack of transport was a major reason for high maternal mortality rate (MMR) in few states in India.

Ambulance driver Ashutosh Gaikwad speaking to Pune365 said, “I have seen various deaths due to the traffic delays caused to the ambulance.

We feel so helpless at times when we hear the screams of patients and their family. But, there is nothing much we can do about it.

The traffic in Pune is increasing so rapidly that ambulances and even the fire brigade team are stuck often in that traffic. I wouldn’t blame Pune Police for not doing their job, even when a signal is off,  they try to manage the traffic understanding the emergency, but the other vehicles block the right of way of an ambulance.

9 out of 10 times, the commuters end up blocking the ambulance, Gaikwad added.

Shekhar, yet another city ambulance driver agrees to the fact that half the time the commuters block their way and there is no way it can move, until the whole traffic gives way.

Also the traffic police see us and let us go even when the signal is red, but we can’t move due to a huge block of vehicles and the congestion delays us again.

We don’t always have doctors in the ambulance, the doctors on ambulances are only available when the call is made directly to the hospitals and hence we have to reach the hospital really fast to save the patient. 

Moreover, if some VIP is visiting the city, even the ambulances are made to wait for hours and hours for their security. Is their security more important than human life?

My personal opinion is at least one doctor should be sent along with the ambulance, understanding the emergency. Be it the physician whose treating the patient, or the ambulance should pick up the nearest doctor on his way to a victim, This can maybe help saving time in such a situation, Shekhar added.

Explaining the importance of ambulance on time Dr Roshan Palresha, ( Head of Emergency, Columbia Asia Hospital, shares, “As per the WHO standards, there should be at least one ambulance per 100,000 population in the plains, and one for every 70,000 population in hilly terrain or tribal areas where a population is scattered.

The goal of an ambulance is to reach any place within 15-20 minutes after the distress call and transport the patient to a health facility within 20 minutes thereafter.

Major complications arise due to delays in ambulance services. This may lead to irreversible injury to heart muscles and the brain in cases of acute MI ( Myocardial Infarction) and Acute Ischaemic strokes, as they are very time sensitive..

Other complications may include Maternal mortality in cases of full term pregnant females.. Delay may even lead to loss of limbs any body parts in cases of trauma with vessel injuries. There are many other complications which may be caused due to delay in ambulance services.

Roshan further says, In my opinion, “To minimise the delays in ambulance services, there should enough ambulances available as per WHO standards and enough trained paramedics who can handle the situations during transportation to minimise complications.

There should be good coordination between the hospital, traffic system to minimise delays. Awareness among citizens regarding the importance of ambulance services and clearing the roads of traffic whenever there is an ambulance which is passing by.

Overall, it should be a combined effort between the hospital, citizens and police system for better coordination. As we say, ” TIME IS BRAIN” and ” TIME IS HEART” in cases of Stroke and Acute Heart Attack respectively, it is very necessary to minimise delays in transport and to reach the hospital door in time, Palresha added.

Roads are congested in the city and several Puneites don’t have the common sense to drive or ride sensibly. There is no lane discipline in the city, because of which there are major traffic snarls in the city, says Anuradha Deshmukh, Active Citizen.

When a signal is red and the traffic cops allow the ambulance to go, all the other vehicles moves along with that.

If they follow proper lane discipline, the few vehicles blocking the way of an ambulance can move ahead and allow the ambulance to reach the hospital on time and save a life.

Moreover, people should know their responsibility as good citizens and give way to an ambulance. After all even a few minutes can help save a life! Deshmukh added.



Ankita Malekar

Ankita Malekar

A talkative tiny speck in the world of Media, with an itch for travel and paws.
Ankita Malekar