In February 2019, Delhi government started the bike ambulance service for congested areas to
provide pre-hospital medical care. Since it was difficult for ambulances to cross traffic jams in
appropriate time and to cross narrow lanes, this idea was thought to be an innovative solution to the
These bikes were equipped with medical equipment like oxygen cylinder, first-aid kit, dressing
material, glucometer etc to be efficient first-responder vehicles. Even in private sector, hospitals
have deployed bike ambulances before. They are mainly driven by paramedics trained for first aid
having personalised kits. The use of bike ambulances began during World War I due to its mobility
and was later adapted by many countries of the world, along with India recently.
Having bike ambulance service has its own pros and cons. In this article, we will be evaluating them
Advantages: Bike ambulances were a good initiative and has many uses. Apart from Delhi, bike
ambulances are also function in Bangalore in India and many other countries of the world.
The bike ambulance service would reach faster than the usual ambulances. It would help in reaching
critically-ill patients early and giving them quick treatment or transferring them to the hospital.
Bike ambulances can easily drive through narrow lanes and traffic jam which is the most common
problem for ambulances in Delhi.
Bike ambulances increase the survival rate of patients suffering cardiac arrest since more immediate
treatment can be given. Bike ambulances can also be used to transport patients by using a sidecar or
Bike ambulances have varied use, from giving first aid in case of accidents to providing emergency
healthcare service to a pregnant woman. As such, even a narrow gap of few minutes can provide
helpful or fatal to a person’s life.
But along with these advantages, there are few disadvantages of bike ambulance as well, especially
in a city like Delhi.
India is already facing an acute shortage of trained doctors and paramedical staff. As such, it is
difficult to find trained paramedical who will be able to operate the bike ambulances and make them
functional. Along with increasing the existing demand for medical professionals, it also puts more
pressure on the appointed medical attendants.
In Delhi, there have been a petition in court since most of the para-medicals who are riding the bike
ambulances are above fifty and are not trained paramedics which defeats the entire purpose of
launching bike ambulances. Since these people won’t be able to provide appropriate immediate
medical care through means of bike ambulances.
It is the Assistant Ambulance Officers who are operating bike ambulances in Delhi and more medical
professionals who are also good at riding need to be appointed.
In India, mainly females are entering into the medical profession and they generally do not prefer
riding a bike or even know how to. So this may pose a problem as to how bike ambulances will be
kept functional throughout the year.
Therefore, launching bike ambulances is a good thought that is required for meeting the needs of
the people. But it requires a lot of pre-planning and changes in the existing medical structure to
make bike ambulances completely functional. Bike ambulances have their uses but only in the hands
of those who know how to make the best of it. Moreover, many a time, the medical professionals
may not be proficient with ways and directions. Sometimes, the patient is not in a condition to be
transported using a bike which is not as stable as an ambulance van. Therefore, this limits the usage
of the bike ambulances. Yet, a lot of money needs to be spent on launch and maintenance of bike
ambulances along with required equipment.