MEMS project to feature at GDHP summit

ST CORRESPONDENT
Monday, 25 February 2019

“I am sure our learnings from running the emergency ambulance services will be extremely beneficial to these countries for running similar services,” said Gaikwad.

PUNE: Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services (MEMS-Dial 108), the public-private-partnership ambulance project of the State government, has been selected for presentation to 23 countries, as the best practice in digital health initiatives. 

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, along with the World Health Organisation (WHO), has organised the Fourth Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) Summit in Delhi from February 25 to 27.

This is the fourth edition of the GDHP and also the first time India is hosting this event. Government representatives from 23 countries will be attending the summit. The member countries discuss and share best initiatives in healthcare that use data and technology and also share knowhow to implement them in their respective areas.

MEMS-Dial 108 is an unique emergency medical ambulance project of the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Maharashtra. The ambulances are accessible to all citizens free of cost, on a toll-free call to the number 108 from any mobile and landline within Maharashtra.

BVG also has set up a state-of-the-art control room in Pune. The control room operates 24x7, attending all calls from across the State, wherein the expert call handlers understand the emergency and connect the patient to the doctor in the ambulance and dispatch the nearest ambulance to rescue the patient. The 108 emergency services cover all the urban, rural and remotest places of the State with a well-equipped trained and expert team.

Started in January 2014 in Maharashtra, the MEMS has received 1.54 crore calls and has served 37 lakh emergency patients till date. This includes over 3 lakh cases of vehicle accidents and around 9 lakh pregnancy-related cases. Over 30,000 childbirths have taken place in the ambulances.

Commenting on the development, Hanmantrao Gaikwad, Chairman and Managing Director, BVG India Limited, said that it is a proud moment for Maharashtra and India that a home-grown public service project like MEMS is chosen by WHO and Union Ministry of Health to showcase before other countries. 

“I am sure our learnings from running the emergency ambulance services will be extremely beneficial to these countries for running similar services,” said Gaikwad.

He further added that emergency medical care is of paramount importance across the world. 

“The core of emergency medical services is the availability of medical care in the ‘golden hour’, which is the first 60 minutes after any medical emergency. At MEMS, we are now reaching emergency patients in average 18 minutes in urban areas and average 22 minutes in rural areas, from the time of receiving the call,” said Gaikwad.

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