Patients visiting the Government Medical College Hospital (MCH) in Thiruvananthapuram can now zip across the vast campus and various hospital blocks in minutes, in the cool comfort of Reva, the fully automatic, non-polluting electric car, instead of walking in the hot sun.

Not just from hospital block to another inside the campus, the electric car can be manoeuvred through the hospital corridors, enter the lift and take the patient right to the doorstep of any ward.

“The idea had been proposed about one-and-a-half-years ago that a buggy or golf cart-like facility can be engaged for patients to move inside the vast MCH campus as most of our hospital blocks are scattered and a good distance from each other. The idea is to use the Reva car in place of an electric trolley or wheel chair to transport the aged or ailing to various facilities on the campus,” Deputy Superintendent of MCH K.V. Viswanathan said.

“We have heard that electric cars are used as a mode of public transport inside the campus of the Indian Institute of Science for visitors or students. We have not heard of any hospitals utilising these cars in place of a trolley,” Medical College Principal Ramadas Pisharody said.

The two electric blue and red Reva cars were formally handed over to the medical college authorities on Friday by T.N. Seema, MP, who utilised her local development funds to fund the project.

“I have seen how difficult it is for patients to move from one department or block to another inside the MCH campus as the labs, imaging facilities, in-patient and OP blocks are all in different parts of the campus and wanted to address this common problem,” Ms. Seema said.

The car, on full charge, can travel 80 km and has to be recharged then. It can be handled and navigated very easily as it comes with automatic gears and can transport three persons, excluding the driver. The cars cost Rs.3.23 lakh each, she said.

Dr. Pisharody said that the hospital development society already had drivers to handle the cars. “We have not yet finalised the operational part but we were thinking of having one car each on fixed stations — say, the OP block and the Super Specialty block — from where every 15 minutes one service could be operated during the peak hours,” he said.

MCH authorities are planning the first trial run of the cars next week.