Maharashtra to purchase 695 ambulances for rural areas

Mumbai, Jan 16 (PTI) Intending to provide medicalassistance within an hour to needy persons in rural areas,Maharashtra Government is going to buy 695 ambulancesconnecting all the public and private hospitals in the state.

Some of them will be equipped with advanced lifesupport facilities for cardiac patients or accident victims togive them immediate treatment on the way to hospital.

"We would be initially starting the service in ruralareas, where the need is more. The idea is to provide help tothe patients in first crucial hour known as ''golden hour'',"Bhushan Gagrani, Secretary, Health Department, told PTI.

The 695 ambulances will be manned by para-medicalstaff, who would provide initial treatment, he said.

"The whole process, from attending an emergency callto sending the patients to the hospital, would be done withthe help of a call centre," the Secretary said.

The call centre would guide the patients to thenearest hospitals for the kind of treatment required, Gagranisaid. The ambulances would also have a GPS system to tracktheir path and attend to any sudden problem.

The expected budget for a single well-equippedambulance is Rs 25-30 lakh. Maintenance cost will be up to Rs1.25 lakh per month along with para-medical staff andtravelling expenses, he said.

The Government would soon start tendering process forthe scheme and wants a single agency to manage the entireoperation. It also wants a permanent facility to train thepara-medical staff.

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