The new year will see the state launch an Emergency Medical Service (EMS), which had run into trouble due to litigation.
The ambulance service was mooted about four years ago, but had run into teething problems. Recently, a Supreme Court ruling cleared the pitch for the state health department to launch the service.
A tender was floated last year and a UK-based ambulance service provider along with an Indian firm, Bharat Vikas Group (BVG), was selected for the project. This year, another EMS service provider, whose bid was rejected, approached the Bombay high court and later the Supreme Court, which ruled in favour of the state.
The emergency medical service meant to offer assistance to accident victims and other critical patients in the crucial first hour will be launched next year.
“A three-member team of All India Institute of Medical Sciences was appointed to set the technical specification required for the EMS,” said a senior official.
If everything goes well, the work order will be issued in a couple of months. The ambulances with advance life support and basic life support will be on roads in phases. The state will spend around Rs900 crore for the project for five years and 937 ambulances will be launched across the state. A total of 247 ambulances will be deployed in corporations like Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Aurangabad and Nagpur.
“We will enter into an agreement with the company and also issue a work order soon,” said an official of the health department.