Imagine this scenario—you are on a train entering Chennai Central station, and your co-passenger is lying on the floor in excruciating pain. What can you do?
Well, dial 138 on your mobile phone, to immediately alert station authorities to this medical emergency.
In medicine, the first hour after an accident/traumatic event is called the “Golden Hour” because emergency treatment within that stipulated time is expected to be most successful. Any delay in treatment could prove to be troublesome or even, fatal.
In a crowded area like the Chennai Central railway station, it was a challenge to receive medical treatment, but not anymore.
According to the Times of India, the Southern Railway has begun emergency medical centre at 23 key stations including Chennai Central, Tambaram, Egmore, Salem, Trichy and Coimbatore.
“We provide the land free of cost to corporate hospitals which can set up the facilities. In return, primary healthcare services are provided by them to railway passengers free of cost. It’s a win-win situation for all,” PK Mishra, the Additional General Manager, Southern Railways, told ToI.
The medical centre in Chennai Central was started in November 2015, after the Madras High Court ruling on a PIL. At centres run by with corporate medical institutions like Apollo and SRM, physicians and nurses are on standby 24×7, equipped with a defibrillator, nebuliser, and stretcher, and other such facilities to deal with serious injuries, besides cases of heath attack and shortness of breath.
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Even an ambulance is parked within the station complex premises in the event the patient requires greater emergency care. However, the patient or those accompanying them, can either choose a private or government hospital and don’t have to choose the likes of Apollo for further care.
Most patients from Chennai Central, for example, are treated at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital across Poonamalee High Road. Chennai Central and Egmore see 20 or more patients per day. The Indian Railways is expected to implement this model across all stations.