New Delhi: The questionable standards of medical facility in the state of Uttar Pradesh is not unknown but using ambulance service to ferry goods instead of passengers may still be a new low. And this low surfaced in Kannauj where the 108 ambulance service was caught on camera with stacks of containers - instead of patients - inside.
At a time when reports of patients being refused ambulances are cropping up from different parts of the state, several ambulances in Kannauj - some 125 kilometres from the state capital of Lucknow - were seen carrying containers, according to news agency ANI. While no official reason has yet been given regarding why emergency vehicles are being used as ordinary transport vans, the incident could highlight the plight of people seeking medical facilities in areas relatively far from urban hot spots.
The 108 ambulance service has been touted by the state government as one its main achievements. The Yogi Adityanath-led government has also claimed on several occasions that the health infrastructure being set up in UP would be second to none. Adityanath himself has said in the past that states like Kerala should learn how to run hospitals from UP. This despite the much-highlighted and extremely unfortunate incident of several children dying in a Gorakhpur hospital last year - reportedly due to lack of oxygen. This and other reports of family members carrying ailing and/or disabled relatives on their backs, in mattresses, on cycles and on trucks regularly bring a shockingly bad name to the state - especially at a time when emergency vehicles like the ones in Kannauj are not used for what they are meant for.