Dial 1298 for Ambulance
Country of Operation
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
- Lower-middle income (20-40%)
- Middle-income (40-60%)
- Higher middle-income (60-80%)
Ziqitza Health Care Limited (ZHL) was founded by a group of young Indian professionals who realized that an organized and networked ambulance service in India was necessary to help save the many lives that were being lost due to a lack of timely medical attention. This vision is reflected in the organization's commitment to meeting international quality standards in emergency medical services and extending the availability of emergency transportation and care to lower-income populations. The name ZIQITZA was derived from the Sanskrit "chikitsa", meaning medical treatment, and "zigyasa", meaning quest for knowledge.
Key program components
The project has been set up in association with London Ambulance Service, a UK Government Agency, which has provided the processes, systems, protocols, training and project implementation assistance to 1298. Through the 1298 program, Ziqitza operates a network of fully equipped Advanced and Basic Life Support Ambulances across two states in India. 1298's business model uses a sliding price scale driven by a patient's ability to pay, which is determined by the kind of hospital to which patients choose to be taken. Financial sustainability is assured through cross-subsidization. Over the last three years, about 20% of patients utilizing this service were subsidized.
The ambulances are controlled by a state-of-the-art call centre available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that identifies the ambulance closest to an emergency and directs the ambulance team. 1298 has also developed training programs, certified by the American Heart Association and New York Presbyterian Hospital, to train its own emergency care doctors and technicians.
The ‘Dial 1298 for Ambulance’ service was launched in the state of Kerala on the 31st of December 2007. Initially implemented in 2 districts, the service was expanded to another 2 districts in July 2008. Although the service is currently available only in Mumbai and Kerala State, investment discussions are under way to enable the company to expand into 8 new regions across India (taking its pay-per-use network to about 400 ambulances in the next few years).
Dial 1298 for Ambulance has saved more than 70,000 lives in Mumbai. The service has grown from 10 ambulances in Q1 of 2007 to 60 ambulances as of 2009.
ZHL also runs the 108 Emergency Response Service model, which operates more than 600 ambulances in the States of Bihar and Punjab.
1,000,000 patients transferred (since launch)