Tuesday, February 24, 2009

EMRI in Goa

108 has been seen as an agent of help in Goa for quite some time now.It wasEMRI ambulance van in Goa on September 5 2008 that the 108 Emergency Management and Research Institute launched (EMRI) in partnership with the Government of Goa, as a free emergency response service in the state.

EMRI is committed to improving the emergency response service in Goa  and presently the 108 vehicles in Goa have responded to over 8,000 emergencies and thereby saved over 150 lives ever since it was launched in September 2008. Goa was in fact the first state to have launched the service in the entire country  with 18 ambulances covering a population of 13.44 lakh.

The endeavour was envisioned as an example of  a corporate social responsibility of the state towards its citizens .The Govt of Goa has an understanding with EMRI which makes EMRI responsible to develop and operationalise the comprehensive Emergency Response Service unit. This unit is expected to provide pre-hospital care and transport to definitive care, to patients with illness and injuries which constitute a medical emergency.

EMRI is also aimed at developing an integrated emergency management model to network the different arteries of emergency response – the major institutions and infrastructure setups like hospitals, police stations and fire brigades are working in co-ordination with EMRI in Goa.

EMRI, which is accessible through its toll free number 108, handles all kinds of emergencies in this coastal state of Goa, including delivery related, accident, drowning or any other instances of such mishaps.

The cost component of EMRI is mainly borne by the government of Goa while providing the capital expenditure for development of land allotted by the government for construction of the state-of-the-art building. The cost of purchasing the ambulances is also paid for by the government of Goa.  The Government also funds 95 per cent of the operational expenditure  such as salaries of staff,  ambulance operational cost, medical consumables requirements , training etc.

While an advanced Life Saving (ALS) fully equipped ambulance costs Rs 17 lakh, the cost of a Basic Life Saving ( BLS) equipped ambulance is Rs 13 lakh. This cost includes the bare vehicle, cost of fabrication and medical equipment. The State of Goa also funds the infrastructure required to house the Emergency Response Center and the necessary technology hardware costing around Rs 10 crore.

EMRI contributes with its expertise of leadership, technology, innovation, research and training free of cost and also contributes 5 per cent of operational expenses while also giving around Rs 8 crore to meet any balance operational expenses and the costs of the leadership, research and training. However, the cost of technology support provided by Satyam is additional and runs into several crores which is provided free of cost to every State.

The monitoring, evaluation and auditing is undertaken by an advisory council under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary of Goa which is expected to meet every quarter to audit expenses, and its recommendations are mandatory. Its members are the Health  Finance and the Home secretaries. The DGP and the Health commissioner are the conveners.

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