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1lakh calls for 102 service

Guwahati, Aug. 29: The 102 ambulance service has attended over one lakh emergency calls during its one year operation in Assam.

The then Union minister for health and family welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad, inaugurated the service on September 1 last year.

It provides inter-facility transfer that involves carrying a patient from a health centre to a better equipped hospital during emergency.

The Assam government runs the service with GVK EMRI, an emergency management service, in public-private partnership mode.

The chief operation officer of GVK EMRI, Santanu Sarma, today said till yesterday they had attended 1,07,831 emergency calls.

Twenty-four civil hospitals, 13 sub-divisional civil hospitals, 40 first referral units and 108 community health centres across the state were covered by the service.

Unlike the 108 ambulance service, which responds to calls from any person, 102 service, barring a few cases, responds to calls from hospital authority only.

But what makes the employees of the ambulance service worried is the large number of unnecessary calls like general enquiry, abusive calls, calls by children, prank calls, no-response calls and missed calls.

Most emergency cases handled by 102 ambulance service was pregnancy-related (34.87 per cent).