Besides launching the new fleet, the CM also announced salary hikes for ‘108’ ambulance workers.

CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launches new ambulances Image: By arrangement
news Healthcare Wednesday, July 01, 2020 - 14:19

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday launched 1,088 ambulances, equipped with modern life support systems to provide advanced healthcare services.

Jagan flagged off the ‘108’ and ‘104’ emergency response vehicles in Vijayawada. The state Minister for Health AK Krishna Srinivas (Alla Nani) and several other ministers participated in the launch function.

Twenty-six neo-natal ambulances have been inducted into the fleet of 412 new ‘108’ ambulances, of which 104 are advanced life support vehicles and 282 are basic life support vehicles, according to officials. 676 Mobile Medical Units (MMU) of the ‘104’ emergency service are being introduced to address healthcare needs in remote and interior regions of the state.

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The new fleet while increasing the number of vehicles will also reduce the duration of response, in cases of emergency in rural areas. Ambulances will reach rural areas in less than 20 minutes while it will take less than 15 minutes to reach urban pockets. One ambulance will be available for every 75,000 people, besides as many as 26 neo-natal ambulances that will work towards reducing the infant mortality rate in the state.

According to Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister PV Ramesh, the new ambulances were launched at the cost of Rs 200 crore. He said, “The main purpose is to save lives and provide quality medical care to each and every citizen living the state. This is a revolutionary initiative, under this every mandal will have one mobile health unit which will connect the primary health centre with YSR health clinics.”

The CM also announced a salary hike for employees of ‘108’ services. Based on their service, the pay for drivers has been increased to Rs 18,000-28,000 from the existing Rs 10,000 per month. Similarly, the pay for emergency medical technicians has been hiked to Rs 20,000-30,000 from the current pay of Rs 12,000 per month.

With the hike, over 2,000 staff who work under the ‘108’ health services as drivers, lab technicians, emergency medical technicians and pharmacists will be benefitted.

Earlier the YSRCP government had prematurely cancelled the existing contract with ‘108’ service provider BVG India Ltd. The opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had claimed this was done in order to give the contract at a higher price to Aurobindo Pharma Foundation Consortium, which is co-founded by a relative of YSRCP General Secretary and MP Vijayasai Reddy.