Four glorious years have passed since the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, launched Uttar Pradesh’s emergency medical transportation system, the “108- Samajwadi Swastha Seva”. Four path-breaking years since indispensable ambulance services were made available to all free of any charge. Uncountable lives saved and underprivileged individuals helped. The success stories of the multiple health-sector based innovations of the Uttar Pradesh government are innumerable, and the Akhilesh Yadav led Government is covering great distances in providing greater access to affordable healthcare to all.
Under the 108 System, ambulances and other allied medical services are being provided during medical emergencies, and within twenty minutes of such an emergency being reported. Emergency medical help is being made available to pregnant women, those injured in road accidents, heart attack survivors and people requiring hospitalisation due to contagious diseases, among other medical conditions. The ambulances being provided are well-stocked with medical equipment and are also air-conditioned.
To address these situations and provide swift medical assistance, the Government has also launched a call-centre to efficiently run the ambulance services. In the early phases of the launch of the ambulance facility, thirteen districts, including Lucknow, Mainpuri, Etawah, Kannauj, Saharanpur, Meerut, Rampur, Moradabad, Muzaffarnagar, Sambhal, Shamli, Baghpat and Ambedkar Nagar were covered by the 108 system. Apart from that, 133 ambulances were provided specifically for medical emergencies and 240 of them for the Samajwadi Swasthya Seva (1). Further on, 22 Community Health Centres and 8 Primary Health Centres were also inaugurated in 18 districts. Investments have also been made to improve the operation of the 102 National Ambulance Service, which include the provision of 1000 additional ambulances for delivering medical assistance to pregnant women and sick children. And in 2015, the Uttar Pradesh Government decided to augment the fleet of 900+ ambulances in the 108 service by adding 500 more to it.
Moreover, apart from helping save lives, the ambulance service is also helping save and create livelihoods for thousands, with more than 15,000 individuals gaining employment through the ambulance services (2).
The strides the Akhilesh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh government has taken in the health (and allied) sectors are noteworthy. With consistent expansion and progress evident in this sector, massive state-wide improvements in the health statistics of Uttar Pradesh are definitely on the cards.