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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 143-6

An evaluation of the referral transport system of Patna, Bihar.


Preventive and Social Medicine, Patna Medical College, Bihar

Correspondence Address:
R Singh
Preventive and Social Medicine, Patna Medical College, Bihar

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 20108877

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OBJECTIVES: The key objective of the study was to evaluate the coverage and functioning of the referral transport system under NRHM in block PHCs of district Patna in Bihar. METHODS: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted during October-November, 2008 in 16 block PHCs in Patna. In-depth interviews were conducted at 811 households where there was an occasion to transfer a patient to a hospital in the previous two months time. Medical officer in-charge and civil surgeon of the district were also interviewed. Besides, focus group discussions were conducted with the community members and leaders regarding the functioning of referral transport. RESULTS: Availability of the referral transport services was irregular mainly due to deputation of the vehicles for flood relief activities or other purposes. 93 (11.5%) of respondents used the PHC transport facilities, of which 52.7% got it instantaneously. 'Dial an ambulance 102' services were mainly used by urban clients. The system was following an arbitrary cost structure. 84.2% of the clients belonging to below poverty line had to pay for the service and are afraid of availing the services. CONCLUSION: Inadequate number of ambulances in PHCs, unequipped ambulances, lack of life saving equipments, 24 hours duty by single driver, arbitrary cost frame work and urban preference for services were some of the factors leading to unpopularity of the scheme.


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