GUWAHATI: Assam health minister Dr Himanta Bishwa Sarma on Tuesday launched ninety-five 108 Ambulances to give a boost to the healthcare sector both in urban and rural areas of the state.
Launching the new 108 ambulances, Dr Sarma said with the new emergency healthcare vehicles put into force, the response time of the service would be reduced to maximum 10 minutes in urban areas and 15 minutes in rural areas.
He said 150 more such ambulances would be put on the roll after three months and another batch would be introduced in the next financial year that would enable phasing out of the old 108 ambulances gradually.
Dr Sarma said introduction of more ambulances would only marginally improve the service unless the technical staff manning those emergency healthcare units on wheels were adequately skilled.
He said the health department would soon introduce a system check the expertise of the technical staff manning those vehicles through a system of random selection from various districts. Their expertise would be gauged by doctors in medical colleges of the state and Mohendra Mohan Choudhury hospital here.
He said the health department would recruit only those drivers for these 108 ambulances who have been certified by a few select accredited driving training institutes. He said drivers must be very skilled for the interest of the comfort of the patients travelling in these vehicles.
The health minister called upon the joint directors of the health services who are posted in district headquarters to put up an extra effort to improve the work culture in the department from the health sub-centre level.
He said a plan was afoot to check the quality of health services in 4000 primary health centres in rural areas of the state simultaneously on a single day without notice by deputing government various government officials to conduct the sudden inspection.