Though the road safety campaign was held between January 1 and 15 this year, as the state government has made this awareness drive a permanent feature for the first 15 days of each year, hospitals that play a crucial role in such activities are not aware of the goings-on.
To ensure a successful campaign, various government departments, including health, are assigned responsibilities mentioned in a circular, which is usually sent to state-run and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation-run hospitals and other concerned departments.
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The circular contains pre-considered plans to be executed, but at ground level the campaign has turned out to be an utter failure, as only one of the hospitals was aware of the event. Though the campaign ended yesterday, officials of several hospitals were asked whether they received the circular and all, except St George Hospital, claim ignorance.
State-run and civic-run hospitals play a major role, as almost all individuals involved in accidents minor or major are rushed to the nearest public hospital. Casualty wards at such hospitals see hundreds of such cases arriving on a daily basis.
The life of an accident victim rests completely in the hands of medical experts at these hospitals. Though deaths do occur every year due to road accidents, several lives are saved too. MiD DAY contacted hospitals in the city to check the success rate of the campaign. What we discovered isn’t very encouraging.
J J Group of Hospitals dean Dr T P Lahane said, “I have not received any circular regarding the campaign and neither have any of the state-run hospitals.” St George Hospital medical superintendent Dr J B Bhawani said, “We are aware of the road safety campaign and we are doing our bit. We have a special ambulance on standby, with emergency equipment, for rushing to accident spots. We also have a team of specialists, including a physician, an anaesthetist and a surgeon, who go to the spot in the ambulance. This enables us to provide medical assistance to the injured within the golden hour.” Doctors from the hospital have participated in health camps conducted by various NGOs and organisations at Malabar Hill, Cuffe Parade and Azad Maidan under the campaign. A trauma ward has been specially setup for accident victims at the hospital. G T Hospital medical superintendent Dr Jitendra Sankpal said that he was unaware of any such circular and will find out if any instructions were provided to the hospital staff.
KEM Hospital deputy dean Dr Shubhangi Parkar said, “We have not received any such circular or instructions from the BMC or the public health department.” Sion Hospital dean Dr Suleiman Merchant said, “I have not received any such circular in my office till date. I shall enquire with other departments to see if they have received any instructions.”Nair Hospital dean Dr Minoo Sanjana said, “We have not received any instructions or circular from the BMC.”
Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said, “For information regarding the circular and the campaign, you can contact the respective deans of the various hospitals.”
Instructions in circular
Health checkup of drivers on Taluka roads and district roads
Provision of an ambulance with emergency medical staff for road accident victims
Hoardings or boards with information of hospitals and ambulances to be put up on highways
To keep an emergency medical team on standby for accident victims and information about such teams to be put up on highways
Conduct health and medical checkup camps for drivers and motorists
Health awareness seminars to be held
Golden hour: To ensure that accident victims get emergency medical assistance within an hour from the time of accident
Traffic police to be provided training regarding first aid for accident victims
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