Though Chennai-Thiruvallur High Road has several accident-prone spots, there is not a single government Emergency Care Centre (ECC) between Padi and Thiruvallur town. Road accident victims are either rushed to Kilpauk Medical College Hospital (KMCH) or Thiruvallur Government Hospital.
On an average, it takes 30 to 45 minutes for patients to get hospitalised in these state-run facilities. Sometimes, it takes over an hour because of peakhour traffic. Many patients are unable to get medical care within the golden hour following an injury.
Not only road accident cases, but also people suffering with chest pain, breathing difficulties, snake bite, allergy, abdominal pain, fall or injury reach hospitals late. But the long-pending road infrastructure projects along this 22-kilometre stretch have only worsened the condition.
While the construction of the bridge at Pattabiram has been stopped midway, the six laning (expansion) work has remained a non-starter, said T Sadagopan, a resident-activist from Avadi.
“Private ambulances have started to refuse trips to our areas because of bad roads and traffic delays,” he said, stressing the need for ECCs, like the ones established along the East Coast Road (ECR).
Two ECCs at Injambakkam and Mahabalipuram have saved the lives of close to 8,000 people in the last three years, according to official data.
A senior health department official from Thiruvallur district said that the government has already started to upgrade medical facilities at Avadi Taluk Hospital and Poonamalle government hospital. With traffic along Outer Ring Road (Minjur-Vandalur) expected to increase in the coming days, these two health centres will come in handy in case of road accidents reported here.
“Besides this, the Tamil Nadu Accident and Emergency Care Initiative ward at Thiruvallur hospital is strengthened with state-of-the-art facilities, eight operation theatres and ventilator-attached beds. This will be made available to the public from April 2022,” the official said.