Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Sunday informed that there is some technical glitch in the 108- Ambulance service call center and measures are being taken to rectify the issue.
The Health Minister also said that there is no need to panic as alternative steps have been taken to ensure uninterrupted service and restore the normal functioning of the system
Speaking to the media Dr Sudhakar said, "There are some issues in the hardware and the GVK-EMRI company which is handling the contract, and it is being rectified. Since the system is 15 years old, it is vulnerable to malware attacks. Technicians have resolved the motherboard issue. The Principal secretary chaired a video conference with all district-level officials to ensure that ambulances services remain uninterrupted. Calls are being serviced normally now and 4-5 decentralised backup centres have also been established in each district."
"108 call centre has a system to allocate ambulance within 2 minutes through an automated system. Due to a technical glitch, the turnaround time has now increased to 6-7 minutes. Since it is an emergency and essential service backup server has been installed. Although it is a technical glitch, I sincerely apologise to people for the interruption in the service. However, our health department at the district level has worked proactively to quickly put in place a contingency plan and ensure unhindered service," the minister said.
While talking about the measures taken to counter the issue, the minister said "The hospitals have been instructed to accord first priority to inter-facility transfers. Ambulance drivers have also been asked to respond to calls coming to their personal mobile numbers by creating manual IDs. The manpower in 112 call centres has been increased from the existing 2-3 to 7-8 and calls to 108 are being redirected to 112 for generating manual IDs. We are also utilizing 104 call centres to reduce the load on 108 call centres. We are also reaching out to missed calls, said the minister".
The Karnataka Health Minister also said that the service of the current vendor is not satisfactory and a new tender has been floated.
"The services of GVK, which is currently the vendor, have not been satisfactory. However, the matter is subjudice and we have already floated a new tender as per the court order. We can expect the new vendor with enhanced services within one month. The new service will have the latest technical features and will be a model in the entire country," Dr Sudhakar said.
Reacting to the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) Siddaramiah's comment that corruption is the main reason for the Ambulance issue, Minister said, "Siddaramaiah doesn't understand technical issues. He must understand the facts before commenting. Everything should not be seen through the political lens".
The BJP leader also attacked Congress for "targeting certain communities".
"Congress has always been targeting the Lingayat community. They brought down Veerendra Patil from the post of CM, who had won a mandate of 173 seats. They didn't allow Kenal Hanumantaiah to inaugurate Vidhanasoudha, who built it. They didn't even treat SM Krishna respectfully, who gave good administration. Congress is deliberately targeting certain communities," Dr Sudhakar said. (ANI)