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108 ambulance services

Need to broaden the services for wider utilisation
12:00 AM Feb 15, 2024 IST | GK EDITORIAL DESK
108 ambulance services
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Not many people are aware about the availability of free 108 ambulance services for transporting patients to hospitals during emergencies.

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Even if they are aware, most among them are not using the ambulance when needed. Recently the senior officials of National Health Mission (NHM) urged upon the people to avail the free 108 ambulance service.

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They also encouraged them to call the toll-free number 108 in case of any medical emergency, rather than transporting the patient in a private vehicle. The 108 ambulance is fully equipped with life-saving support system and ensures better medical care and safety for patients, they said.

Whenever there is a medical emergency, the people usually take their patient in their own private vehicles. And those not having their vehicle have to use cabs. The private vehicles or the commercial vehicles do not have the facilities which an 108 ambulance is having.

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Subsequently, the patients needing emergency treatment and care are put to big risk while being transported to hospitals in private vehicles. According to officials of NHM, out of the 203 ambulances, 139 vehicles are equipped with advanced life support including ventilators, defibrillators, suction machines, nebulizers, syringe pumps and oxygen support systems, along with fully trained emergency medical technicians for optimal patient care.

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Seventeen 4x4 vehicles have been deployed in snowbound areas to rescue patients during heavy snowfall. NHM also launched the 8th edition of 108 Jammu and Kashmir Emergency Medical Services Magazine to create awareness among the people about this service.

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It is being hoped that the required awareness is created and more people use these ambulances to take the emergency patients to hospitals. After the awareness is generated there will be greater demand for the service. The NHM will have to increase the number of such ambulances.

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This type of facility must be made available in far flung areas as well. It has been noticed that a number of emergency patients, while being taken to hospitals from remote areas in private vehicles, sometimes die on way to hospitals.

These deaths can be avoided if services of 108 ambulances are used. For that the service should be made broad-based reaching to people across Jammu and Kashmir.

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