"Around 800 ambulances across the state have been fitted with GPS so as to track the movement of every referral vehicle in the state," Minister of State for Health Shabir Ahmad Khan said.

A toll-free number '102' has been set up on which patients can call and avail ambulance facility, Khan said, adding that one control room has been established in each district hospital of the state for this purpose.

These control rooms would be manned round-the-clock by operators who would control and direct the flow of ambulances as per requirement, he said.

Khan was speaking at a high-level officers meeting of Health Department held here to review the status of health care schemes launched in the state under the flagship programme of National Rural Health Mission.

The Minister said currently the toll-free number can be availed for ambulance services but in a major healthcare reform, the state's medical department will soon launch other services included under the National Rural Health Mission on this number, with special focus on providing immediate medical care to the needy in rural areas.

These services would include timely medical care during health emergencies and accidents with the main focus on maternal and child health related emergencies.

He asked the officers to complete all the requirements for launch of the service, which will be made functional in all the district headquarters.

(Agencies)

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