The state’s most ambitious scheme to save lives — Emergency Medical Services (EMS) 108 project — saw pre-launch trial runs in Pune, Mumbai and Thane on Monday. As part of the drill, the District Hospital in Aundh sent ambulances fitted with GPS and vehicle tracking system to attend to dummy patients.
A total of 25 ambulances in Pune, 15 in Mumbai and 10 in Thane were involved in the trial runs, said Dr Dnyaneshwar Shelke, chief operating officer of the state EMS project.
The state health authorities are considering Republic Day for the launch of the Rs 1,000-crore EMS project.
Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services is state government project under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and will be operated by Bharat Vikas Group India Limited and UKSAS of the UK. Symbiosis International Centre is the academic partner and is involved in training doctors.
An emergency toll free number — 108 — will serve as the point of first contact for police and fire-related emergencies. Emergency Response Centre Physicians will provide online medical direction to doctors in ambulances during emergency calls. A total of 937 well-equipped, modern advanced life support and basic life support ambulances will be stationed at strategic locations all over the state.The ambulances will reach out to over 11 crore people in the state in case of emergencies.
Any kind of emergency, including accident, heart attack, unconsciousness, breathlessness, paralysis, poisoning, will be attended to by doctors on these ambulances. The main aim of the project is to reduce mortality and morbidity by 20 per cent and a modern emergency response centre has been set up at District Hospital in Aundh for the purpose, said Dr Ashok Nandapurkar, district civil surgeon.
On Monday, NRHM director Dr K H Govind Raj and Director of Health Dr Satish Pawar were among those present at the main emergency response centre set up in Pune. “Dummy patients were told to dial 108 following which a team of doctors in the new ambulances were sent to attend to them. During the trial, we checked the timing of the call, the duration of the ambulance ride and how much time it took for the patient to reach the hospital,” Nandapurkar said.