108 Samajwadi Swasthya Seva was launched by Akhilesh Yadav in 2012 when he assumed office as the youngest CM of the most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. At present, 1,488 vehicles operate under this ambulance service, making it the biggest fleet in the country. Under 102 National Ambulance Service there are 2,270 vehicles on the move round-the-clock. On 1st November, UPCM launched a mobile application for the 108 Ambulance Service, called ‘Call Ambulance’. Once the application is installed, the user can register with 108 ambulance control room.
If the user calls the control room, their location and details are identified. The control room will ask for information about the emergency and the number of patients after which the nearest ambulance is sent. If the caller is unable to speak, a text message can also be sent to the control room. Officials said the control room will respond promptly upon receiving the message.
The application also has a provision for entering emergency contact numbers, in case such details have to be provided to family members or relatives from the 108-control room. The application has been designed knowing that it becomes difficult to trace the location of the caller in metro areas and along state and national highways.
Speaking on the occasion, UPCM Akhilesh said, “My government has embraced technology for the larger benefit of the people of the state. It is because of the 108 Samajwadi health service and the 102 National Ambulance Service than millions of people have been helped in time, in the state. The mega call centres, established recently, has been giving us feedback to improve the service further.”
Akhilesh Yadav also interacted with the call centre employees to get a first-hand account of the operations. With the launch of the mobile app, people will be able to keep a tab on the ambulance service. One click and the caller will be able to locate the ambulance through GPS and also get information on the route of the vehicle. There will be a web portal too for non-mobile users.
Principal Secretary, Health, Arun Sinha said, “108 Samajwadi Health Service has benefitted more than 69 lakh people while 1.5 crore pregnant woman have used 102-Ambulance services which in itself is a record. The dashboard of the web portal has been designed in a manner to show all information in a flash. People panic when they see an associate in case of accident or heart attack and are often not able to give the correct address/location but this will be located automatically by the app. ” There is a feedback option on the portal so that the residents can help the government improve their facilities. S.S. Perveez, operations in-charge of GVK EMRI, said that currently, the call centre executives spend around a minute to fill in details of each caller. “The families of the patient are often distressed and do not want to answer multiple questions. It may get irritating if we ask them to repeat the address. Besides saving time, this is also a confidence-building measure with our callers and is more reassuring. If we spend too much time asking questions, the stressed out family sometimes considers making alternative arrangements to reach the hospital,” he said.
Social Samajwadi is thrilled for this service and hopes that maximum people benefit from it.