Bhubaneswar, Oct 15: In order to provide ambulance service to cutoff areas in the state, the Odisha government is likely to introduce free boat ambulance services through a centralized toll free number ‘108’. Odisha will be the first state in the country to start boat ambulance services to provide medical services in cutoff and remote areas.
According to reports, these services would be launched within three to six months as the government has been seriously contemplating to launch the services. Roopa Mishra, Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission, said that the boat ambulance would ferry patients to mainland from where another ambulance will take patients to hospitals.
These boats will be sophisticated with modern medial equipment for pre-medical care and the response time will be 35 minutes alike other ambulance services. The boat ambulance services would be a bliss for the 151 cutoff villages on islands in the Balimela reservoir in Malkangiri district. The villagers of cutoff areas in the district have limited access to hospitals. They need to travel a distance of around 35 km to reach nearest hospital in the district.