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Ditched by 108 ambulance, patient dies

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Reported by Simanchal Pattnaik
Phulbani, Apr 29:

There is public outrage in the district town of Phulbani in Odisha over the failure of the much touted 108 ambulance service to reach a patient in time, leading to his tragic death this morning.

The lone 108 ambulance in Phulbani town had been sent all the way to Brahmapur with a patient, allegedly in violation of the guideline, sources said.

K Illiya Reddy, deceased
K Illiya Reddy, deceased

According to reports, an employee of the state Fire service K.Illaya Reddy, who arrived here at 5.30 am this morning from Cuttack was about to board a bus to Chakapad when he suddenly collapsed and fell on the road unconscious.

The man, who apparently suffered from epilepsy, also sustained injuries in his head during the fall.

Passengers and local shopkeepers who were present at the bus stand rushed to his help and immediately called the 108 ambulance service to carry him to the hospital. But when the ambulance did not show up even after an hour, they contacted the district headquarters hospital to send one of its ambulances but no one was there to pick up their calls.

After a hour-long wait, Reddy was finally taken to the hospital in an auto rickshaw around 6.45 am. But it was already too late and Reddy breathed his last at 7.30 am.

Inquiry revealed that the only 108 ambulance here was away in Brahmapur with another patient while the people in charge of the four ambulances were not there to respond to any call.

People here have demanded stern action against the hospital authorities for the lapse that cost a man his life. They have also raised questions over why the 108 ambulance, which is meant to cater to patients within a 35 km radius was sent all the way to Brahmapur, especially when there were four ambulances available at the district hospital.

The CDMO while saying there was no violation of norms in sending the 108 ambulance to Brahampur, promised to inquire into the reasons why the hospital ambulance service did not respond to the calls.