Mumbai-Pune E-way trauma centre opening delayed further
MSRDC’s much-awaited trauma centre for the Mumbai-Pune Expressway is ready and has even received one bid for operating it, but facilities for maintenance of air ambulances will take six months to get constructed
The Trauma centre constructed by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) off the Mumbai-Pune Expressway will not be available to patients for at least another six months.
The trauma centre at Ozarde village, near Talegaon toll plaza, on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway has received only one bid for operating the facility. Air ambulances cannot yet be brought in because hangar and maintenance facilities will take 6 months to be built
The reason? There are no facilities for the maintenance and parking the air ambulances, which are supposed to airlift accident victims to the centre. The trauma centre was specially set up to provide treatment to accident victims on the 94-km Mumbai-Pune Expressway, where victims take either 45 minutes to reach a hospital or bleed to death on the road.
The idea was to have specialised trauma centres equipped with air ambulances, which would airlift the victims to them during the golden hour the one-hour period after injury during which, if a patient is given primary treatment, his chances of survival are said to increase. This centre is the pilot project of the four proposed centres on the stretch.
MSRDC spent over R4 crore to construct the trauma centre spread across 8 acres at Ozarde village, near Talegaon toll plaza. Work began in 2013 and was completed in November last year. MSRDC had also asked for Expression of Interest (EOI), inviting firms with necessary expertise and experience to operate the centre.
The agency had trouble getting a bidder till January, and has finally got one bid now. “We had invited EOIs from those who can operate the centre, and we expected a positive response. The facility was supposed to be a level IV medical facility capable of providing surgical and critical care.
Eventually, Lokmanya Hospital from Pune has come forward and theirs is the only EOI we have received. But it’s still in process; we are yet to hand over the facility to them,” said an MSRDC official.
However, even if MSRDC has received a bidder interested to run the centre, the issue of moving the patients is still unresolved, as the sought-after air ambulance service will take more than six months to be completed.
Though both the helipads at the centre are ready for use, the construction of hangars and other maintenance related facilities for the helicopters is yet to be completed. “This will take more than six months roughly to be completed,” added A P Abrol, chief engineer, MSRDC Pune.
Meanwhile, the question of paying for the fuel and cost of ferrying patients is still to be answered. MSRDC authorities have made it clear that patients will have to bear these expenses if they need the air ambulance.
This leaves the uncertainty whether people in need will actually be able to afford specialised medical services, putting a question mark over the whole purpose of the trauma centre.
Number of people who have died in accidents on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway between January 2006 and June 2014
No of people whose condition was critical, but they survived after meeting with accidents on the Expressway in the same period
Number of people who sustained severe injuries in accidents on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway from January 2006 to June 2014