Emergency service '108' to cover all states by 2010

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Tirupati, Feb 10 (UNI) Emergency medical service number 108, a public-private partnership initiative between the Centre and the Emergency Management Research Institute (EMRI), will cover the entire country by 2010, EMRI Chief Executive Officer Ch Venkat said today.

The service was presently available in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, he said, adding that it would be extended to Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Assam, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka by the year-end.

Talking to newspersons here, Mr Venkat said an MoU would be signed between the Centre and EMRI shortly for pressing into service 10,500 ambulances and appointing one lakh employees.

The initiative required Rs 2,000 crore per annum for maintenance.

In Andhra Pradesh, where the service was started on August 15, 2005, Rs 150 crore was needed to maintain the service, which saved 60 lives daily, he said.

Out of six lakh emergency calls received annually, 1.5 lakh calls each related to road accidents and maternity, while the others related to suicide attempts and police related calls, he said.

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