Bhubaneswar: In order to further improve the performance of Emergency Ambulance Service in the State, particularly in tribal districts, and to meet the increasing demand for this service, the Government of Odisha through exclusive State budget funding, have made provision for additional 84 Ambulances under the 108 fleet. Honourable chief minister of Odisha Shree Naveen Patnaik unveiled these ambulances connecting virtually at Paribahan Bhawan, Bhubaneswar.
The 108 Emergency Medical Ambulance Service was launched in the State on 5th March 2013. Operated through Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd agency it has a state of the art call center at Bhubaneswar. Presently it is operated with a fleet size of 518 vehicles covering all 30 districts, providing emergency medical service, free of cost to the people. The fleet has 456 “Basic Life Support” (BLS), 56 “Advanced Life Support” (ALS) and 6 boat ambulances.
During launch of these new ambulances Mr Naba Kishor Dash, Minister, Health and Family Welfare, Government of Odisha said that, “In order to improve response time and to reduce number of cancelled calls these additional 84 ambulances provided to different villages from coastal districts to far reach areas state government has been committed to provide free ambulance services to all poor and tribal people.”
Odisha head of the organization operating 108 Ambulance Mr Sabyasachi Biswal said that, “Launch of new ambulances not only made emergency health service more accessible but also creates new job opportunities. As per 3 persons per ambulance for one shift total 504 contractual appointments have given for two shifts. As per WHO standard, one ambulance needed for one lakh population, but in Odisha one ambulance available for per 42,000 people. As additional ambulances added to the fleet our response time will improve further.”
Shri P K Mohapatra, IAS, Addl Chief Secretary, H & FW Dept, GoO, Smt. Shalini Pandit, IAS, Mission Director, NHM-Odisha.
In addition to the 108 Emergency Ambulance Service, the State has in position a fleet of 500 ambulances under Janani Express for transportation of pregnant mothers and sick infants. Till date, over 60 lakh people have been benefited from 108 and Janani Express ambulance service in the State.
The Govt. of Odisha has made a budget provision of 104 crores for operational and capital expenditure (over a period of five years) for these additional 84 ambulances. The additional 84 ambulances are being positioned in 27 districts. The allocation of the additional ambulances to districts has been made to improve the Response Time & bring down the number of Cancelled Calls due to non availability of Ambulances for various reasons.