Himachal adds 50 more ambulances


ambulanceShimla : Under the free of cost 108 national ambulance service Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday added 50 new ambulances taking its total strength to 162 vehicles.

 State chief minister Virbhadra Singh flagged off the 50 new ambulances at Shimla’s Ridge here.

 “Soon 125 more small ambulances will be added to the current fleet ,” Virbhadra said .

 Over two and a half years ago Himachal became the first state in northern India to start the free 108 ambulance service .

 It has so far ferried more than 3 lakh patients to nearby hospitals . The 108 service call centres have also handled 2500 fire and 10,000 police related cases since its inception , health officials said .

 ambulance vehicleThe 108 ambulance service has been a political issue in the hill state . The previous PK Dhumal led BJP government had named it Atal ambulance service .

 But when the Congress wrested power from the BJP six months ago it immediately changed the name to national ambulance service on the grounds that it was largely a centrally funded scheme .

 On the occasion the national rural health mission website(www.nrhmhp.gov.in) for the state was launched to provide updated health related information.