North Gazette News/Shimla
Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Saturday launched free Ambulance service to provide transport and drop back facility to pregnant women and children upto the age of one year.
After flagging off the ambulance service ‘Janani Express-102’, Singh said that 45 Ambulances would be plied in first phase to provide free transport facility
to the pregnant women. “The service would drop women home after delivery and sick children up to the age of one year in the state which includes the remotest Dodra-Kwar and other far-flung areas,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that under this Scheme 125 ambulances would be stationed at major delivery health centres including the regional and district hospitals. “The free ambulance service would be available through a toll free no 102. As of today, the infant mortality rate of the state is 36 as compared to the National average of 42. Similarly the fertility rate in the atate is 1.7 as compared to 2.4 at National level,” he said.
This is another milestone achieved in the Health Sector after the successful launching of 108 Ambulances and would play a pivotal role in strengthening the health infrastructure. The free ambulance service would prove beneficial to drop home free the new born child and mother from hospitals.
He said that this free service would promote institutional deliveries which in turn will be go a long way in further reducing the Maternal and Infant Mortality rate in the State.
The Chief Minister said that health indicators of the State was far better from the National health indicators as per the latest survey. He said that under National Rural Health Mission the State Government was successful in getting the finances of Rs 261 crore from the Centre and he hoped that the Union Government would provide assistance to further strengthen the Health Sector as the Union Minister of Health J. P. Nadda represents the State.
He said that Central Research Laboratory costing Rs 6 crore was being established in IGMC College and a sum of Rs 5 crore was being incurred for Nursing College. “Besides this, Rs 56 crore was being spent on constructing new OPD Block in IGMC and a sum of Rs 7 crore was being spent for strengthening a Cardiac Unit of Cath Lab and Rs. 3.5 crore each has been sanctioned for setting up Trauma Centre and Renal Unit in IGMC,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur said that a sum of Rs 6.15 crore was being spent under 102 Janani Sishu Suraksha Karyakram in the state.
He said that this free 102 Ambulance drop back services would reduce the pressure on 108 Ambulance services which were also performing the same services.