The government-run ‘108’ ambulance service in Karnataka has been affected by technical glitches since Saturday. Responding to the issue, the government Sunday said alternate arrangements were being put in place to ensure that patients do not face any trouble.
According to reports, a large number of calls made to the 108 helpline were not getting connected since Saturday due to an IT hardware problem at the call centre tasked with running the helpline.
Health and Family Welfare Minister K Sudhakar told reporters that steps were being taken to address the issue. “The call centre is run by a private agency which will address the issues soon,” he said.
The ‘108’ helpline automatically dispatched ambulances to the addresses of callers within two minutes. However, due to a hardware issue, the call centre was now taking six to seven minutes for a dispatch, said the minister.
The technical glitch has forced the call centre to reduce the number of calls received by it to almost 65 per cent. While the call centre can attend around 7,000-8,000 calls per day, it can attend only about 2,000-2,500 calls since the issue cropped up.
Sudhakar said that directions were issued to ambulance operators to respond to calls received even on their personal numbers and ferry the patients.
The government has also increased the number of staff at the automatic call centre. The additional staff are part of the team that is generating manual IDs for dispatch.
According to reports, demand for private ambulances witnessed a surge owing to issues faced by the helpline.