The 108 Ambulance Service, which was launched to provide immediate medical help to Road Traffic Accident (RTA) patients or those facing medical emergencies, is the lifeline of Maharashtra, said Eknath Shinde, State Public Health and Family Welfare Minister. Shinde was speaking at a function held to felicitate 108 doctors and pilots at Sangvi recently.
“This service has come to the aid of over 43 lakh people through 937 ambulances available in the state from 2014 to August 2019,” Shinde said, adding, “Immediate medical assistance is given to anyone who dials 108 from the accident spot. This service is free for all. About 33,000 babies have been successfully delivered…108 Ambulances played a vital role during floods in Sangli, Kolhapur, Satara and Pune for transporting thousands of people to the hospital.”
He added that due to this service, timely treatment was provided to 3.5 lakh RTA patients between 2014 and August 2019.
Dnyaneshwar Shelke, the CEO of Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services, said in the last five years, about 33,328 pregnant women were assisted by the ambulance service. He added that two years ago, a bike ambulance service was started in Mumbai, which has benefitted around 22,000 patients. He said the service was expanded due to its success, and at present, a total of 30 bike ambulances are operating in the state-18 in Mumbai, five each in Palghar and Amravati and one each in Solapur and Gadchiroli.
Vice-president of BVG India Ltd Datta Gaikwad was among those present at the occasion.
In flood-affected areas
The Maharashtra Emergency Medical Service operates 24 ambulances in Sangli district. 36 in Kolhapur district and 32 in Satara district. Ten additional ambulances were dispatched to these districts during the flood.