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Incompetent former J&K governments failed to set up critical care ambulances

Last Updated on January 10, 2021 at 3:23 pm

The inefficiency of previous governments in erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir could be accessed from the fact that the state government could not make critical care ambulances functioning even when Central government had already provided necessary funds for the job.

jammu ambulance
Pic for representation only

The former State Government approved establishment of Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (Company) for purchasing and supplying medicines, surgical equipment, machinery/ vehicles for various medical colleges and hospitals of the State Government and to decrease burden on service providers (Head of the Departments/ Doctors) of procurement and distribution process. The government approved this act on 5th March 2014 under the Companies Act, 1956. This company was set out to function under the administrative control of the Health and Medical Education (HME) Department.

Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited called for tenders in the month of November 2015 for starting 102 Ambulance Service in the State by installing Healthcare Equipment, GPS system in 150 ambulances (BLS ( Basic Life Support System) in 123 and ALS (Advance Life Support System) in 27 and setting up of two data centres and operation. However, only two companies made bid for the project.

Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) opened the ground for bidding in April 2016 and lowest bid was Rs37.10 crore. After many months, the SLPC approved the rate contract on 7 January, 2017 and issued Letter of Intent (LOI) to successful bidder for Rs 25.48 crore for setting up ambulances. However, on March 2017, the bidder sent notice for terminating the project because of abnormal delay in starting the project caused by not handling buildings and ambulances and increasing input costs. As a result, this contract was cancelled in September 2017.

The Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited again failed to finalise any contract in November, 2017 even after receiving Rs 3.18 crore from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare GoI, in March 2016. This delay in handling over buildings and ambulances caused cancellation of the project.

Former governments of Jammu and Kashmir have always ignored the healthcare sector and this has led to poor infrastructure of health-related institutions.