New Delhi: Indian American physicians will build an emergency medical system in the national capital to help patients reach hospitals within 10 minutes in an emergency and thus reduce fatalities.
"In collaboration with the Maharashtra government, we have already set up such a system in Pune. Delhi will soon have the facility," S. Balasubramanium, president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), said Wednesday.
Under this project, all the leading hospitals will be networked through a group of specially trained doctors, centralised ambulance service and paramedical forces.
The 25-year-old AAPI is a network of 42,000 physicians and almost 15,000 medical students and residents.
Explaining the process, Balasubramanium said: "We may need at least 30 ambulances for the purpose. But a through survey of the ground realities would tell us the exact requirements.
"There would be centralised call centres to facilitate this service but patients would not be charged for this service.
"Once in place, doctors can reach a patient within 10 minutes of receiving a call or patients can be transported to a medical unit," he said.
"All the doctors of these hospitals would be trained by AAPI experts on how to handle patients in different circumstances. A unit of paramedics will also be trained to handle cases in the absence of doctors," Balasubramanium said, after signing an agreement with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Sam Pitroda, chief of the Knowledge Commission, said: "These physicians have been working in India. But the effort is to institutionalise it. Platforms like this can help bring the talent back home.
"Indian-Americans have a huge potential, and authorities here should tap this pool of knowledge and utilise it for the benefit of millions in villages."
Balasubramanium said that the initial investment in the proposed network would be less than Rs.50 million and the recurring cost would be less than Rs.1 million a year.
Seeing the huge volume of traffic in Delhi, he said the ambulances can be customised.
"It can be a scooter ambulance. The doctor will set out in the scooter with a rear box full of medicines and equipment. A folded stretcher can be fixed on one side of the scooter to put the patient on and treat him on the pavement too.
"The government has expressed its keenness over it and we hope everything would be in place before the Commonwealth Games 2010," he added.