In today’s world the concept of healthcare services has drastically changed. The importance of human life, and ever flourishing medical science, and the technological inputs; all this cumulatively mean to offer help in the finest way possible, and in the shortest time possible. The element of speed is so crucial in case of saving lives that in the developed countries the whole process has been made so sophisticated that in the first few minutes the finest care is made available to the trauma cases. But in our part of the world things are lagging far behind. We have lost many lives, and we keep losing them, to accidents, to sudden surfacing up of some adverse medical conditions. We even have lost lives in case of the women undergoing labour pains, and not reaching a healthcare centre in time.
This facet of the absence of healthcare facility was time and again brought to focus in our editorials, news pages, and opinion. Any small movement in this regard was also acknowledged, and appreciated. So the news that ‘the State Administrative Council (SAC) which met under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik here on Tuesday approved operationalization of the 102-108 Toll Free Ambulance Service in the state’, cannot be missed. It was a long pending need of the people of the state. If, as the news story tells us, free ambulance service is provided round the clock to transport the patients requiring immediate medical care especially critical, Trauma, accidental victims, pregnant women and sick children, it will come as a great relief. It will save precious lives. What needs to be assured in this is that it is not confined to just transportation, but the ambulances put in the service must be laced with emergency care. That is what an ambulance actually means. Also, the services offered must be smooth, and hassle free. And lastly, and in no case of least importance, the administration must expand this service by involving NGOs, charitable trusts, and philanthropists. Because for a population of J&K we need this service be expanded far beyond what the government can offer in the beginning. Anyways, this step of the administration needs to be hailed.