‘Providing emergency services in MP with 600 ambulances is a challenge’
Working with 604 ambulances for providing integrated services in a state as big as Madhya Pradesh will be challenging, Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd’s chief financial officer Manish Sancheti said on Monday.
“We have started with emergency ambulance medical services (EMAS) with about 600 ambulances. But Madhya Pradesh is a huge state and operating emergency services is challenging. London, which is a little bigger than Bhopal, has more than 1,000 ambulances. We plan to replicate similar services but we have a less number of ambulances,” Sancheti told Hindustan Times.
Ziqitza took over ambulance services this week in the state.
The private service operator, as per the government plans, will integrate emergency medical services, Janani Express, Mobile Medical Units and Sanjeevani Express under one helpline number - 108.
Currently, Janani Express is handled by a call centre, and its calls and service delivery are verified by district health officials. “The new centralised call centre for Janani Express will be based in Bhopal. The process of starting Janani Express service will be completed in a few months,” Sancheti said.
Janani Express Sanchalak Sangh against the integrated services
Janani Express Sanchalak Sangh, an association of ambulance drivers, is against the integrated services. The sangh claims Ziqitsa will cost an additional Rs 267 crore to the government. The private health service provider reduced their in-hand salary and kept them in dark about the terms and conditions, ambulance drivers alleged. But Ziqitza Healthcare Limited claims that a centralised system will improve service and prove to be cost effective.
Ziqitza plans to install GPS system in Janani Express
Keeping almost the same response time of 30 minutes in urban areas and 40 minutes in rural areas as the previous 108 ambulance services, Ziqitza plans to install GPS system in Janani Express so that ambulances can be tracked. The company is providing services in Punjab, Odisha and Jharkhand.
Asked about allegations of irregularities in its service in Rajasthan, Jain clarified that the company was not blacklisted. “We were put up as accused by CBI. The situation will clear out soon and we will come out clean,” Ziqitza’s CEO Naresh Jain asserted.
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