One of the biggest focus points in this concept is cost. As a concept the offroad clinic is not new, but as a cost effective one is is quite innovative.
The traditional way of getting clinical help to the people that need it is to employ a six wheel drive truck, which at well over 8 tonnes and £90,000.00 price tag. Running at 8-10 miles to the gallon and using special off road tyres, you have a package which will do the job but at what price?
The vehicle shown in this picture is typical of the type currently used – built for the job, it looks like a tank or another type of military vehicle, which rolls in with all the associated negative connotations. It is actually an ambulance and it’s a great indicator of what “Just throwing money at something” can do.
Even though the capital expenditure costs are comparable with this example, it is the whole life costs where my smaller vehicle combination wins (fuel, spares, tyres, etc). Also the internal specifications differ from an ambulance, as rather than the major focus being transportation of the injured, the major focus for the off road clinic is the transportation of the space and equipment to serve the community in their local area. In order to provide the same functions as the off road clinic, you would need two or more of these amulances, with the obvious cost implications of multiple vehicles, fuel etc, as well as staffing costs for multiple vehicles going into the same location. My offroad clinic allows fewer staff to have to travel.
It’s worth remembering we also have to take along power, via a generator, climate control via AC and all the equipment properly sanitised and ruggedised to suit the rough conditions so it costs a little more to set up a mobile, offroad clinic than a building-based clinic.
I believe my vehicle combination is not only fit for the job of getting to remote communities where there is no road infrastructure, it also looks like it brings friendly, clinical expertise and helpful information and has a longer working life.