Critical Care Ambulance Service misses deadline

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Apr 22: The much awaited Critical Care Ambulance Service (102, 108), supposed to start its operations across the State by the end of this month, is getting delayed due to non-availability of funds with the National Health Mission (NHM).
The service, which has already witnessed much delay, was finally decided to be rolled out by the end of this month, but the implementation agency NHM is still struggling for the funds.
It was agreed upon last month that 416 such ambulances will be rolled out across the J&K beginning from April, with clear directions of meeting with the set deadline.
Last month the minutes of the meeting of various stakeholders were issued by the Health and Medical Education Department, which accepted that there has already been delay in starting the project.
“All the stakeholders were instructed to work in mission mode to have tangible results within the drawn up action plan. It shall be ensured that 102 & 108 Ambulance Services Go-Live on 28th April,” read the minutes of the meeting.
Mission Director, NHM J&K Bhupinder Kumar told Excelsior that the project is facing some funding issues and that the NHM is holding constant deliberations with the central funding agency.
“There are some funding issues that we are facing right now, we are holding regular meetings with the concerned agencies and we are expecting a breakthrough soon,” he said.
Kumar added that all the ground preparations were put in place and that they are waiting for the funds to be released. “We have done all the preparations, but as of now, we are getting the funding done and it shall be done soon,” he added.
JKMSL’s General Manager for Kashmir, Dr Iqbal Sofi told Excelsior that JKMSL is done with its job, but the NHM has put it on hold as it was facing funding issues.
“As far as JKMSL is concerned, it is done with all the basic requirements such as putting out the status and the agreement, now the ball is in the court of implementation agency, which is facing some funding issues,” he said.
He, however, said that the funds have almost been released and the things shall be set right soon. “As far as I know, the funding has been approved and the same will be communicated to the concerned agency soon,” Dr Sofi added.