Lack of timely medical aid and unaffordable ambulance services often result in millions of emergency cases ending in fatalities, particularly in rural areas of India. In many instances, patients require immediate medical attention to improve their chances of survival, but the delay in receiving medical aid due to a lack of access to ambulances or an inability to afford the service can be detrimental. To bridge this gap, the government launched various ambulance services, such as 108 and 102, to provide emergency medical care to the needy.
108 Emergency Ambulance
The 108 Ambulance Service is an emergency response service that aims to provide emergency medical services to people in need. Ziqitza, in association with State Governments and National Health Mission, currently operates Dial 108 in Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Punjab, and Sikkim, and had previously served people in Bihar, Kerala & Rajasthan.
108 is a toll-free number that can be dialed from any landline or mobile set. All the ambulances operating under this service are fitted with a GPS system. A centralized call center has been set up in the capital city. The ambulances are strategically located in the operational district in such a way that the entire district can be covered, and any emergency can be addressed in a minimum amount of time. The entire service, right from a person making a call to the necessary pre-hospital care in the ambulance and taking the victim to the nearest hospital, is absolutely free to every citizen of the state. During the trip, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) provide the victim pre-hospital care to ensure the patient reaches the hospital safely.
102 Emergency Ambulance
On the other hand, 102 ambulance services are used to transport pregnant women and infants to healthcare facilities. Under the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), pregnant women and infants are entitled to free transfers from home to hospital, inter-facility transfers in case of referral, and transport from the hospital to the home. Ziqitza provides this service in association with the State Government and the National Health Mission in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, and Odisha.
This service is provided for a period of one year from delivery, enabling safe transportation even for infant vaccinations. The ambulance service provides first aid to the patient and transports them to the nearest Community Health Centre or Government hospitals.
102 and 108 Differentiator
Now, coming to the differentiation between 102 and 108 ambulance services, the primary difference is the purpose they serve. While 108 ambulance services are for emergency medical care, 102 ambulance services are for transporting pregnant women and infants to healthcare facilities. The 108 ambulance service is available 24/7 and provides emergency medical services to anyone who needs them, regardless of their medical condition. In contrast, the 102 ambulance service is only available to pregnant women and infants who need transportation to healthcare facilities.
Emergency medical services are essential, and it is crucial to provide timely medical aid to the needy. Ziqitza, in association with State Governments and National Health Mission, is providing 108 and 102 ambulance services in various states of India, serving millions of people in need. It is important to raise awareness about these services and encourage people to use them during emergencies.