NEW DELHI (AP) — After a motorbike accident, Bharat Singh rushed to get his brother the emergency care he needed. It would end up taking five hours — three of them spent in a van posing as an ambulance, with an empty oxygen tank and no medic.
Trauma care barely exists across much of India, where 160,000 people die in road accidents every year. Some would surely survive if the system were better.
Ambulances lack medical equipment, and few doctors are trained in emergency care. A 2006 report found that it usually takes more than an hour for Indians to get emergency care, and experts say those delays have not improved.
Police often bring trauma patients to hospitals, but officers say they're just a stopgap until the country manages to improve emergency services.