Pune: After several complaints of neglect of COVID-19 patients due to lack of ambulances, the Pune Zilla Parishad has finally received technical approval from the state health commissionerate to purchase new ambulances for 92 primary health centres in the district.
For this, a total fund of Rs 18.40 crore has been provided from the 14th Finance Commission under the infrastructure category at the rate of Rs 20 lakhs each. This fund has been allotted to the Patient Welfare Committees.
The Pune Zilla Parishad has been making continuous efforts for the last four months to provide one ambulance each, to all the primary health centres in the district. However, it did not receive technical approval from the state health commissionerate.
This approval was received on August 13. State Health Services Joint Director (Primary Health Centre) Dr Vijay Kandewad signed the approval letter which Zilla Parishad has received recently.
Pramod Kakade, Construction and Health Chairman of Pune Zilla Parishad said, "There are a total of 96 primary health centres in Pune district. Ambulances have already been sanctioned for Karanj Vihire and Kadus health centres in Khed taluka by MLA Dilip Mohite, while primary health centres in Karanjawane and Panshet in Velhe taluka have already received ambulances from Bhor MLA Sangram Thopte's local development fund. Apart from these four health centres, an ambulance will be provided to the remaining 92 health centres from the funds of the 14th Finance Commission."
All party Zilla Parishad members had alleged during a general body meeting that in the last four months, the Zilla Parishad had received several complaints of neglect of COVID-19 patients from rural areas due to lack of ambulances. Many patients had to hire private ambulances by spending huge amounts of money.
Kakade said, "There were no ambulances for patients in rural areas. We were constantly striving to make them available. The process for purchasing these ambulances is in its final stages. They will be available to all health centres in the next ten days."
Karan Khalate, Former Chairman, Panchayat Samiti of Baramati said, "In the past, primary health centres in large villages only received ambulances. These vehicles to have become old. As a result, COVID-19 patients in rural areas were being neglected due to the lack of ambulance. The new decision will probably bring relief to rural patients."