Medical Emergency? Dial 108 for a Free Integrated Emergency Service

By Abhilasha Dafria|15th Mar 2012
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GVK EMRI (Emergency Management and Research Institute) is the first professional organization in India, to have partnered with various State Governments, in offering a free integrated Emergency Service to all citizens on a not-for-profit model. Within a short span of 6 years, they have spread across 11 states, serving around 380 million people. They have so far extended their services to 17.3 million people in distress, with pre-hospital care and emergency medical transportation. This free service has been a boon for people, particularly in rural and tribal areas.Subodh Satyawadi, CEO of GVK EMRI, tells YourStory.in more about how the project has displayed to the world the strength of public-private partnership.

Subodh, please tell us how the entire process works?

We have developed and executed processes, protocol and solutions of global standards that suit the Indian scenario. With these standardized processes, our callers and beneficiaries experience the same affectionate care, irrespective of the geography we operate in. A caller, who dials a toll free108 number in any of the states where we operate, is responded before the first ring ends. After capturing the incident, a nearby Ambulance is dispatched within 90 seconds. Our average response time in major cities is about 12 minutes and in other urban areas, it is around 15 minutes. Telephone, triage, treatment and transfer of patients to the appropriate healthcare centre, along with primary stabilization in the hospital are free to the beneficiaries. Technology, innovation and people are the backbone of our operations. The passionate and committed service of 18000 strong professionals in GVK EMRI helps 12000 victims every day.

The founders of this service studied Emergency Transportation across the world including the 911 service of the US and came out with a customized Indian model, redefining pre-hospital care. All our ambulances have life saving equipment and medicines, and 25% of them have Advanced Life Support equipments like Defibrillator and Ventilator.

How did the idea come about?

The occurrence of almost 75000 unattended emergencies per day in the country, and the helplessness of victims were the inspiration behind the idea. A lot of precious lives were lost due to the delay in proper response to emergencies. Hence, to provide an integrated emergency response that remains on the top of everyone’s mind was necessary. This idea was tested in Hyderabad and was further executed and nurtured by a professional team to scale it up. The concept has revolutionized emergency care in India, with the continued support and leadership of Padma Bhushan Dr. GVK Reddy, Chairman of GVK Group, as a CSR initiative.

When was the service launched?

The service was launched with a modest fleet of 70 Ambulances in August 2005 in Hyderabad and since then it has scaled to more than 3100 ambulances operating in 11 states, with immediate plans to start services in 4 other states and union territories.


How has the response been so far?

This life saving initiative has been supported and encouraged by the Governments, the media, the Judiciary, the Police, the medical fraternity, academicians and the general public. You may see our EMTs and Pilots working in the remotest areas of Himachal, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Assam, Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh, without any fear, and delivering services around the clock. Needless to say, due to its effectiveness and usefulness to the general public, it has become extremely popular with the masses.

Who are the various stakeholders involved in the process?

Broadly every citizen is a stakeholder in our model. Governments, medical systems, the Police and Fire departments, the media and the general public are our stakeholders. Mahindra Satyam, our technology partner, has developed the core ERC application and supports us free of cost.

So if you don’t monetize, how do you sustain? Have you been funded?

This service has been developed on a not-for-profit model. The direct expenses related to state operations are borne by the respective State Governments and the promoter, GVK, provides the cost for leadership, research, training and Stanford collaboration. So far, more than Rs 100 crore has been funded by the GVK group.

Finally, how does it feel to be an NSIH Winner?

It is a great honor and an inspiration for all the 18000 committed professionals involved in the mission of saving lives. NSIH makes GVK EMRI more responsible to every Indian and every EMRite will work beyond the call of duty to save lives.

How do you think NSIH will make a difference in your growth?

This prestigious national recognition reiterates our strength and conveys to the world the excellence available in India to emulate all over. We, at GVK EMRI, in partnership with the Government, are equipped and committed to scale up our operations to provide assurance to everyone in the country, of prompt assistance in the case of an emergency. Many foreign governments are also showing keen interest in this model.

To know more about GVK EMRI, visit http://www.emri.in/

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