Govt will Start Ambulance Service in State
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29 March 2010
By Yogesh Naik
The state government is soon going to have an ambulance service across the state with a dedicated call centre and a wireless network. The ambulance will be made available in 15 to 20 minutes of receiving a call.
Health minister Suresh Shetty said, “We recently got the proposal cleared by the cabinet. It will be designed on the lines of the ambulance service in Goa, Gujarat and Karnataka.”
In 2007, the state had cleared a proposal to ask Satyam to start ambulance service in the state without a tender. “But Satyam landed in trouble and GVK took over. Now, there are many players in the market, so we want to call for a tender.”
The government wants to start the service in six districts and then extend it to the other areas. The costs of the project are also to be worked out, said Shetty and added that the call centre for this ambulance will be located in Pune. The ambulances will also be fitted with GPS units and wireless sets to rush them to places of emergency. They would have three types of stretchers, trained paramedics, glucose, medicines, salines and also equipment like torches, hammers and ropes for rescuing patients during emergencies. In most states, the government has allotted a telephone number, 108, for the ambulance services, but in Mumbai, the same number has been allotted to the BMC control room, hence another number like 104 or 105 could be allotted for the ambulance service. “People could call the toll-free helpline, give their address and call the ambulance wherever needed. Shetty said the Centre will fund the project.”
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation which manages the Mumbai-Pune Expressway had introduced state-of-the-art ambulances for the expressway. The MSRDC had a tie-up with a Navi Mumbai-based hospital for the ambulances. But it was discontinued as MSRDC wanted to cut costs.
The Satyam ambulance services work very well in the neighbouring state of Goa. “One of the tribals in Cotigao sanctuary in Canacona was bitten by a snake. We dialled the ambulance service and their vehicle reached in 14 minutes inside the jungles to pick him up,” a forest official said.
Dr Anil Bonde, an independent MLA from Morshi and an intensivist, said: “Such ambulances are needed across the state.”