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102 Ambulance Call Centre

The 102 Ambulance Call Center facilitates calls to ambulances in emergency situations. This 24 hour call center integrates the network of existing ambulances and provides help to those who call the toll free number 102.

Program goals

In parts of Bihar, it used to be very difficult to transport sick patients to a hospital; although government and private ambulances were available, they were difficult to contact. To reach an ambulance, one had to call the hospital where the ambulance was located or call the mobile number of the ambulance driver himself – and these details were not easily available. The Government of Bihar decided that a Public Private Partnership (PPP) was the best approach to tackle this challenge.

Key program components

This 24 hour call center integrates the network of existing ambulances and provides help to those who call the toll free number 102. The call centers are located in six divisions which together ensure coverage for all districts in the state: Patna, Gaya, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, Purnia and Saran. If someone in need of emergency transport calls 102, the operator will direct the nearest available ambulance to the callers location.

This system also supports elective transfers, long distance transfers, intercity transfers, and other ambulance needs which are not of an emergency nature. Private ambulance providers need to be empaneled and their services are charged at market rates.

Aryabhatt Computers has set up control rooms with computers equipped with the necessary software and with seven parallel phone lines for receiving telephone calls. They are responsible for operating the call centers, including directing calls/ambulances, and maintaining the necessary information (telephone number, location, etc.) for all ambulances in the division. They prepare and submit weekly reports on the number of calls and type of services provided. They also provide guidelines on the quality of ambulances that is to be maintained.

The government finances the enterprise - it pays Aryabhatt Computers Rs.41, 000 every month for its services; it also pays Rs.3500 per person to each of four workers in each call center. The government also provides assistance in connecting the call center to government ambulances. The telephone charges for incoming calls are paid to BSNL by State Health Society Bihar (SHSB). A penalty of Rs. 500 per day will be levied if the private agency does not maintain performance efficiency. However, the contract does not provide any incentive for improved performance. Monitoring responsibility lies with the respective District Health Societies.

As of September 2009, about 30,458 ambulances have benefited the patients. In the year 2009-10 alone (figures till 20 December 2009) 6072 requisitions have been successfully met by the 102 service.

Budget Summary of 102: Control Room (including office rent, salary of staff (24x7), stationary, 2 outgoing telephones for compliance of 102 and for reporting to Headquarters): Rs.41,000.00 x 6 units = Rs.246000.00 x 12 months = Rs. 29,52,000.00 + Per Control Room Rs. 15,000.00 pm x 6 = 90,000.00 x 12 months = Rs.40,32,000.00