From the end of August, accident victims in Ahmedabad can expect to get timely and efficient medical attention.
The Hyderabad-based Emergency Medical Research Institute (EMRI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat government to take care of road and fire accident victims on a 24-hour basis through the year.
All one needs to do is to dial 108. EMRI will locate the patient and take care of the rest with its Emergency Response Services.
EMRI is a not-for-profit organisation backed by the promoters of the Satyam group who strongly felt the need for a state-of-the-art emergency response system that seeks to save lives.
The new system will cover the entire state, which has a population of 52 million, in a year's time in two phases. But initially, EMRI will commence its operations in a temporary space provided at the Civil Hospital, Sola, in Ahmedabad.
To begin with, EMRI will have a fleet of 25 ambulances and the needed medical and nursing staff. Within a year, the ambulances will be increased to 400.
While EMRI's investment in technology will be around Rs 200 million, the government has earmarked Rs 70 million for purchasing ambulances. Emergency Medical Service has been included as part of the National Rural Health Mission programme of the central government, for which the state has earmarked Rs 250 million.
EMRI chief executive officer Venkat Changavalli said that the state government would be providing 10 acres of land in Ahmedabad.
He added: "Gujarat is the first state where the 108 emergency services is being launched after Andhra Pradesh."
EMRI was launched in 2005 to serve the 80 million residents of Andhra Pradesh. Its aim is to extend the programme to entire India by 2009. Since its inception, EMRI has dealt with 323,327 emergencies in Andhra and saved over 13,000 lives.
In May, the School of Medicine of Stanford University announced a partnership with EMRI to help evolve a coordinated system of responding to medical emergencies in India on the pattern of the 911 emergency response system in the US.
Following the tie-up, Stanford will offer a two-year post-graduate course in emergency care at Hyderabad. Open to science graduates, the residential course will cost about Rs 200,000 a student. On completing the course, students will get a combined certificate from both institutes.