Donated ambulances lack funds for repair

- Tika Prasad Bhatta, Manthali
Donated ambulances lack funds for repair

Jan 3, 2015-

People in Manthali, the district headquarters of Ramechhap, have been hit hard as the only ambulance available at local primary health centre is out of operation for the past two years. The ambulance, gifted by the Indian government, is left uncared for after the government did not provide funds to repair it.

Similar is the condition of an ambulance owned by Bethan Sub-health Post. It is left on the street at Jomsa Bazaar. Locals said the ambulance was out of use due to a growing trend of hiring Bolero jeeps, which cost comparatively cheaper, to take patients to health facilities in the area. Likewise, ambulances belonging to the sub-health posts at Salu and Bijulikot are also out of use for a couple of months due to mechanical damage.

The only ambulance still in operation in the area is the one belonging to Pakarbas Sub-health Post. “We have managed to keep our ambulance operational despite the fact it costs a lot to repair them time and again,” said Raj Narayan Shrestha, member of the sub-health post’s management committee, recalling that they even had to take the ambulance to the Capital only for maintenance.

All these ambulances were obtained as gifts from various organisations.

The District Hospital has also acquired an ambulance gifted by the Indian government recently. However, the vehicle is not going to last long as the government has refused to provide funds for its maintenance.

According to District Public Health Office chief Pranaya Upadhyaya, there is no option other than making the maximum use of such ambulances until they break down as the operators lack funds to repair it. “We cannot even auction them off as they are ambulances and cannot be used for any other purpose,” Upadhyaya said, adding that the problem will remain until the government comes up with an alternative solution.

 

Published: 04-01-2015 09:28

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