The Delhi High Court Wednesday held that the misuse of ambulances of government hospitals by medical staff would be viewed seriously, stressing that their services be availed of only by patients.
A division bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice S.N. Agrawal said: "No ambulance of any of the hospitals of both state and central governments would be used by the medical staff for their private use."
While giving its ruling on a petition, the bench said all vehicles fitted with medical equipment and registered with the transport authorities as an ambulance would be used only to carry patients for medical treatment.
The court further asked petitioner and counsel Varun Goswami to keep a watch on the implementation of its directives.
"If the order is not implemented, come back to us," the court told the petitioner.
Goswami had also submitted before the court that due to non-availability of government ambulances, people were forced to hire private ambulances at much higher costs.
The court had earlier asked the authorities to state the reasons behind the insufficient number of ambulances in hospitals and the Centralised Accident and Trauma Services (CATS), a Delhi government unit.
Goswami had alleged that CATS had only 100 ambulances and many of them were not functioning properly.
The court directed CATS to purchase at least 30 more ambulances immediately as around five people were dying every day in road accidents in Delhi.
CATS submitted that it would be having 400 ambulances by the end of 2008.