Now if you are in Andhra Pradesh or Gujarat, you can dial 108 and immediately get connected to emergency medical, fire and police services. A fully equipped ambulance with technical staff can be at your doorstep in an average time of 20 minutes. And if you do not belong to these two states you should still read ahead as this service, provided by the Emergency Management Research Institute (EMRI) will soon be made available in the rest of the country.
William A. Haseltine, President of Foundation for Medical Sciences and The Arts, has written about the service in this article in The Hindu:
How it works:
EMRI dispatch centres are modern marvels. Addresses and map locations of fixed line callers are displayed on computer screens that summarise their call histories. The lines are then transferred to medical, police and fire professionals for action. By the time the call reaches the doctor, the location of nearby ambulances and local hospitals together with data describing available hospital services is on the screen. Life-saving procedures can become accessible within the golden hour, the crucial first hour following the emergency crisis.
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With a fleet of 500 ambulances and 3000 technicians and drivers, it is estimated that the EMRI service helped in saving 22,000 lives in Andhra Pradesh itself last year!
Not only this, there is another service for remote medical care wherein a person can dial 104 and avail of free medical advice from health care professionals managed by Health Management and Research Institute (HMRI). Calls are prioritized and callers routed to appropriate destinations, including 108 if an ambulance is required.
The 104 workers currently operate from a call centre in Hyderabad. The target for the year is to increase the number of doctors in the call centre to about 200 and hire about 2000 paramedics, from about 50 doctors and 250 paramedics currently on staff. About one-quarter of the calls require professional medical advice and about half the calls originate from small farming villages with no permanent medical infrastructure. Shortly EMRI will field-test a mobile hospital.
The 108 and 104 services were the brainchild of three founders: Ramalinga Raju founder Chairman and CEO of Hyderabad-based Satyam Computer Services Ltd.; Dr. Ranga Rao and Dr. Balaji Utla.
Now the EMRI and HMRI models will also be used as role models for setting up similar services in other countries around the world.
On a similar note, residents of Bangalore have long been aware and benefited from an emergency ambulance service called Sanjeevini, which has rescued over 42,000 people till date. Sanjeevini is a part of Comprehensive Trauma Consortium (CTC) established as a non-profit, non-Governmental, voluntary organization by Dr. N. K Venkataramana.
The Sanjeevini helpline number is 1062, and you can visit their website here. Stay tuned to The Better India for a more comprehensive coverage of Sanjeevini.
Image Courtesy: The Hindu