Close on the heels of commissioning
‘floating dispensaries’ in Maoist-hit cut-off areas in Malkangiri, Odisha
government has decided to introduce boat ambulance service to extend health
service to people living river-locked and dam-side areas.
Budgetary allocation has been made
to set in motion six boat ambulances in the cut-off areas of Koraput,
Malkangiri, Kalahandi and Kendrapara districts. This innovative ambulance
service will cater to the needs of people of areas where 108 Ambulance Service
has failed make headway because of lack of road route to these far-flung areas.
108 Ambulance Service had been launched on
March 5, 2013 with a fleet of 420 ambulances to cover the entire State in a
phased manner. The government had also sanctioned additional 92 Basic Life
Support ambulances augmenting the existing fleet of 420 under 108 Ambulance
Service to 512. However the cut-off areas could not be brought under 108
ambulance services because of disadvantageous geographical location. Rivers,
creeks or water-inlets encircled the villages from all directions, said
On April 2, floating dispensary had been introduced
providing a new lease of life to around 25,000 people in nearly 100 cut-off
villages of Malkangiri district.
It has emerged as the
‘vessel of hope’ for far-flung Maoist-infested pockets in Malkangiri district.
The proposed boat ambulance service would also provide succour to people in
river-locked areas of Odisha.