COMPLY with the requirements to run your ambulances or have your operations suspended for good.

This is the order of the Department of Health (DOH) after it found that several ambulances in Cebu City are running without basic life support equipment, licensed personnel or permit to operate.

Following this pronouncement, Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak reminded operators to comply immediately with the requirements so as not to hamper the delivery of health services.

“Effective today, private companies, mountain barangays in the city and nongovernment organizations will no longer be allowed to operate their ambulances. They can only continue to do so if they comply with the requirements,” he said yesterday.

But he clarified that all City-owned and -issued ambulances have complied with the requirements, except for the basic life support equipment that have yet to be installed in the vehicles.

“Mostly, the ambulances in the mountains which were purchased by the barangays themselves are only used to transport the patients, that’s why they don’t have the equipment,” Tumulak said.

To address the problem, he said the City Government will give all 32 mountain villages equipment as soon as possible.

The budget for the purchase will be charged to the City’s unused disaster funds from 2015 and 2016, Tumulak said.

He said he has already discussed the matter with City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office chief Nagiel Bañacia before the latter left for Surigao Province for a post-disaster assessment following last week’s earthquake.

The City Government, however, has yet to conduct an inventory on the ambulances owned by the rural villages.

“The DOH order aims to raise the standards of ambulances. This is also to raise the standards of the delivery of health services,” Tumulak said.