Goa signs MOU with EMRI-Hyderabad for emergency health services

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Panaji, Jun 14 (UNI) The Goa government today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Hyderabad-based Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), to provide free comprehensive emergency response services in the state from August 15.

EMRI Chief Executive Officer Venkat Changavalli and the government health secretary Anand Prakash exchanged the documents in the presence of Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and Health Minister Viswajit Rane, besides members of the State Health Advisory Council, at the signing ceremony.

Goa, with a population of about 14 lakh and 11 taluks, will have 18 state-of-the-art ambulances equipped with emergency equipment ranging from defibrillators and ventilators to extriction tools to handle any type of emergency situation.

These ambulances will be fitted with GIS and GPS systems to help locate the area, from which the emergency call was received through a toll free helpline number 108, so that the nearest vehicle will reach the scene in the shortest possible time.

The EMRI operations include a centralised emergency response centre working round the clock, ambulances at strategic locations, police and fire coordinator for necessary emergency handling, offering necessary pre-hospital care in the ambulance and taking the victim to the nearest hospital.

Funded by chairman of Satyam Computers B Ramalinga Raju in Hyderabad 2005, the EMRI now operates its services on no-profit basis through public-private-partnership in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Uttarakhand with over 650 ambulances and 5,000 employees.

Mr Changavalli said the EMRI had recently signed MOUs with governments of Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. With this, it is poised to become the world's largest institute of its kind.

''We plan to cover the entire country by 2010 to save millions of lives per annum, while 3 lakh people are using emergency services. Four million deaths have been reported in the country for want of emergency services,'' he said.

Unfortunately, there are no standard ambulances fitted with all necessary basic life saving equippment as the EMRI's vehicles does.

Each ambulance, costing Rs 70 lakh, can meet 42 types of emergencies.

The country lacked even trainned manpower to meet the emergencies, he said.

Goa reports 108 emergencies per day and their aim was to save 1,400 lives per annum in the tourist state. In this connection, he thanked the state government for finalising the project in a record one month period.

The EMRI, he said, was in the process of achieving the coveted ISO 9001:2000 certificate for its international quality services soon.

Besides collaborating with global organisations in the field, it was offering a two-year full-time residential post-graduate programme in Emergency Care in partnership with the Stansford University School of Medicine, Mr Changavalli added.

Mr Kamat said the government was committed to providing the best medicare and education to the common man.

He also lauded the scheme of free screening of new born babies for abnormalities launched in the state today and the mobile health clinics in rural areas for the benefit of 'aam aadmi'.

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