Bhubaneswar, July 12
Odisha Health and Family Welfare Minister Pratap Jena today flagged off 26 new ‘108’ ambulances at Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) near AG Square here.
“The new ambulances will cater to the healthcare needs of people, especially in tribal-dominated areas of the state. To strengthen the ambulance services, the government has sanctioned as many as 92 ambulances from its own funds on December 23 last year, Jena said flagging off the Ambulances.
He said of these, 24 were earlier flagged off by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on December 23.
“The remaining 42 ambulances will soon be added to the fleet of ‘108’ ambulances in the near future,” the Health Minister said.
Jena said the ‘108’ ambulance service was launched in the State in 2013 and a total of 444 ambulances have so far been provided for healthcare services to people across the State.
“More than 35 lakh people have so far benefited by the introduction of ‘108’ ambulance service,” he asserted.
Notably, the 108 Emergency Medical Ambulance Service is providing emergency medical service, free of cost to the people. The fleet has 388 ‘Basic Life Support’ (BLS) and 56 ‘Advanced Life Support’ (ALS) ambulances.
In addition to the 108 Ambulance Service, the State has in position a fleet of 500 ambulances under 102 Ambulance Service for transportation of pregnant mothers and sick infants.
This intervention has been instrumental in significant reductions in both the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in the State.
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 State Government through exclusive State budget funding, have made provision for additional 92 Ambulances under the 108 fleet.
The State Government has also provided for upgradation of 28 Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances to Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances, out of the State fund, to strengthen the existing ambulance fleet.
It has made a budget provision of Rs 90 crore over a period of five years for these additional ambulances.