198 ambulances added to '108' Arogya Kavacha fleet

198 ambulances added to '108' Arogya Kavacha fleet

Minister for Health and Family Welfare, U T Khader, has announced that two-wheeler ambulances will be made available for public use by the first week of January.

Speaking at the launch of 198 new ‘108 Arogya Kavacha’ ambulances in the City on Tuesday, he said that the design for two-wheeler ambulances had been finalised.

“They will be made available either by the last week of December or the first week of January,” he added.

“By next year, heli-ambulance will also be launched,” Khader said. The State’s Oral Health Policy that has been on the cards for a long time now is likely to be finalised by December, Khader said. With this, senior citizens will be offered free dentures.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in speech, said that earlier, there was one ambulance for a population of over one lakh. However, the introduction of 198 additional ambulances has brought down the ratio to one ambulance for about 70,000 people.

“According to the census, the population of the State is 6.17 crore. Now, a total of 715 of these ambulances are available,” he said. Noting that the State's intention was to ensure that patients reach the treatment centres well within the golden hour,
Siddaramaiah said that funds for these were already announced in the Budget.

He pointed out that the former union minister for health and family welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad, had promised the State 100 additional ambulances during his visit to Bengaluru.Siddaramaiah, furious over prank calls to the emergency ambulance number, 108, warned that the numbers of these callers would be tracked.

“It is inhuman of someone to play prank on a number that is meant for an emergency purpose. The police will be instructed to keep track of such numbers and strict action will be taken against people making such calls,” he said.

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