• No one will be allowed to operate ambulance for purposes other than transporting patients to and from hospitals

Kathmandu, May 4

The government has issued Ambulance Service Operation Directive, 2017 to increase people’s access to ambulance services and make them systematic and dependable.

Any organisation desirous of operating a vehicle as ambulance shall submit an application to the concerned District Ambulance Operation Committee in a prescribed format for licence. Even organisations already operating ambulance services shall have to submit an application within three months from the date of commencement of this directive for the purpose of licence.

The organisation shall get the licence renewed within 35 days from the date of expiry of the licence period.

A seven-member committee led by chief district officer may issue licence for a period not exceeding two years at a time upon necessary investigation and examination.

The directive has also stipulated a provision of a six-member National Ambulance Operation Coordinating Committee headed by chief of Curative Division under the Ministry of Health to make policy provisions relating to ambulance services.

According to the directive, any organisation licensed to operate ambulance service shall comply with the terms and conditions provided in the existing laws.

“It shall be the duty of the concerned organisation to insure the ambulance, ambulance service staff, patient and his/her caretakers and to provide bill of transportation fare upon travel,” reads the directive.

No one shall be allowed to operate ambulance for works other than transporting patients to and from hospitals or health institutions.

As per the directive, the organisation shall also be required to manage necessary fund to provide service to unclaimed and disadvantaged patients.

The organisation licensed to operate ambulance service will enjoy concession in customs duty while importing vehicles for use as ambulances.

The directive has also set the standards for ambulance. The vehicle to be operated as ambulance shall comply with the Nepal Vehicle Mass Emission Standard and shall be a four-wheel drive equipped with siren, suspension chain system and blue flashing lights.

“The vehicle shall have the capacity of over 1,000 CC,” it said. The directive has classified the ambulance into ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ categories depending on facilities. Ambulance of only ‘A’ and ‘B’ class will be permitted to provide services in metropolitan and sub-metropolitan cities. The ambulance driver should have attained the age of 25 with five years’ experience in driving.