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108 FASTER THAN 911

August 1, 2010 3 comments

Study Says India’s Emergency Service Has Outpaced The US Version With Its Expansion Model And Innovation

Parth Shastri &
Kumar Manish |
TNN

Ahmedabad: Ten years ago, when it came to emergency  healthcare services, India was nowhere on the world map. However, the scenario changed rapidly once three magic figures 108 entered the scene. It soon became a household name in several states of India, including Gujarat.

A research published under the title ‘Innovation’s Holy Grail’ in a recent issue of Harvard Business Review delineates how 108 is an exemplary effort. Carried out by  management gurus CK Prahalad and RA Mashelkar, the study shows how 108 emergency service is an innovation that synthesizes research and technology.

According to the study, GVK Emergency Medical Research Institute (EMRI)-led 108 emergency service is fast emerging as a leading organization in emergency health sector worldwide owing to its cost-effective method and public- private partnership model. This has lent it an impeccable base where it is reaching out to 366 million persons in Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Chennai, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Assam, making it the world’s largest emergency management entity in just few years. The paper states that 108 services has outpaced the US’ 911 service with  its huge expansion model and innovation. ‘EMRI spent only 50 cents per person treated to build the infrastructure in India, compared to $100 in the US. The expense per ambulance visit is less than $15, visa- vis $600 to $800 in the US,’ states the paper.

‘As the only emergency responder in the world with a research institute, EMRI is at the forefront of identifying ways to improve knowledge and practices. It archives all calls and analyses data to compile regional public health profiles. For the first time in India, data on the timing and nature of medical emergencies is available,’ states the study.

Babu Thomas, head of HRD of Gujarat GVK EMRI, told TOI that Gujarat has a share in the success story. “With an emergency management centre opening in Kathwada this month, Gujarat has become one of the states with exemplary speed, scale and cost-effective measures. The state also contributes to continuous research that we undertake to study the patterns of emergency and most vulnerable groups,” he said.

The Gujarat model was also presented by Subodh Satyawadi, COO of Gujarat chapter in US last month in front of representatives of World Bank, United Nations Population Fund, United States Agency for International Development.

“This same 108 service, the way it has developed in Gujarat, if it had happened in some other country, our people would have written books about it.” – Hon’ CM, Shri Narendra Modi, Gujarat, India