Karnataka CM flags off 262 new ambulances under Arogya Kavacha – 108 scheme


PTI, Nov 30, 2023, 2:49 PM IST

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday flagged off 262 new modern, life-saving ambulances here to be inducted into the Arogya Kavacha-108 programme, under which people in need of emergency medical services vehicles can book these vehicles free of charge.
The Arogya Kavacha – 108 ambulance programme is run by the Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Department.

At an event marking the occasion on the grand steps of Vidhana Soudha here, Siddaramaiah said it is the government’s goal to ensure that quality healthcare services are made available at all government hospitals.

The Chief Minister called upon doctors to treat poor people who come in ”old and dirty clothes” with humanity. ”They must get good health care without discrimination,” he said. “The government is committed to providing quality healthcare to the people of the state. The 108 emergency ambulances have been provided to the health service so that no one loses their life without getting treatment. ”More than 840 ambulances are required in the state. Four ambulances are functioning in each taluk and are providing emergency health services to hundreds of people every day,” he said.

The chief minister stressed the importance of primary emergency treatment in saving lives.

”Every district should have MRI scanning facility. Due to the high cost of services in private diagnostic centres, the poor are facing a lot of hardship. Thousands of people are applying for the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for this reason alone,” Siddaramaiah said.

”Therefore, an environment is being created in the state where quality treatment is available in government hospitals. When good service is possible at Jayadeva Hospital, it is possible to provide the same quality service in other places,” he stressed. Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research (SJICR) is an autonomous healthcare institute run by the state government, known for providing quality medical care at affordable cost to all sections of society. Stating that the government is working hard in that direction, he suggested that Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao focus more on North Karnataka, where more such services are needed.

According to officials, the 108-Arogya Kavacha – Emergency Ambulance Service was started in 2008-09 with 150 Ambulances. By 2014-15, based on the then population, the ambulance fleet size was increased to 710, out of which 555 were Basic Life Support (BLS) and 155 were Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances.

Presently, 484 Basic Life Support and 231 Advanced Life Support ambulances are operational in Karnataka, out of which 262 ambulances (105 ALS and 157 BLS) are being replaced in the existing fleet.

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