Since its inception in August 2005, the 108 medical emergency response offerings has stored the lives of over 2 million patients across 15 states and a couple of union territories.

Started with the aid of the Emergency Management & Research Institute (EMRI), a non-profit currently under the aegis of Indian conglomerate GVK, the 108 provider attends to “80,000 calls daily and touches a populace of 800 million,” in step with K Krishnam Raju, Director, GVK-EMRI. Besides, it has also instituted a much-needed structural alternate in how emergency hospital therapy is added to India’s poorest patients in city and rural regions earlier than they are taken to a health facility. EMRI become first an initiative undertaken through Ramalinga Raju, Chairman of Satyam Computer Services.

First conceptualized in (united) Andhra Pradesh by using the past due to Dr. AP Ranga Rao, a person of exceptional intellect and passion who possessed a burning choice to do something for the humans, a robust scientific emergency system was Rao’s primary cognizance. Spending near a decade operating with the British National Health Service (NHS) studying approximately emergency structures, his vision became to introduce the identical for India’s public fitness system.

Nonetheless, it was Venkat Changavalli, the first CEO of the Hyderabad-based Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), who become the real architect at the back of 108. And, for the problem, if it weren’t for his father, Venkat could have never even taken up the activity.

“I was the CEO of a German multinational based totally out of Chennai, when I chaired a convention titled ‘Beyond Creating Value’ in January 2005. The leader visitor at the time become Satyam Computer Services chairman Ramalinga Raju. Following the convention, Raju approached me with a proposal of doing something concrete in emergency services. He didn’t have 108 in mind or maybe a real plan, but wanted to tap into my extensive company enjoy, passion for innovation and a latent desire for public service,” says Venkat, in a one of a kind communique with The Better India.

Initially, he had rejected the notion, unwilling to give up his excessive-paying process and wasn’t prepared to get into public service just but. However, a conversation with his father, a retired college teacher, modified the whole lot. His father spoke of building a legacy, asking Venkat to utilize his time, money, competencies, and understanding to assist the tens of millions he doesn’t understand. Following the conversation, Venkat called up Raju and on 15 April 2005, he took over as CEO of EMRI.

Problem declaration

Before the 108 providers have become operative, researchers at EMRI had envisioned that four million Indians had been death every yr because of inadequate scientific emergency offerings. Of the 4 million deaths, round 60 according to the cent (2.4 million) have been related to cardiac-related emergencies, accompanied by 1,50,000 pregnancy-associated deaths, 1,40,000 avenue accident fatalities, respiratory distress, snake bites and suicide attempts, amongst other causes.

“Through its studies, EMRI has [also] learned that ten according to cent of Indians face emergencies, but both don’t realize them as such or have nowhere to name,” says this July 2010 Harvard Business Review file.

“Instead of one variety of humans can dial for scientific emergencies, there were multiple helpline numbers for authorities and personal hospitals. Moreover, there have been no standardized ambulances that offered pre-clinic care. These cars were in large part transporting ambulances without the considered necessary gadget or understanding to stabilize a patient. If those centers had been to be had, patients had been charged an exorbitant quantity. Government ambulances were there, however in poor running circumstance. This turned into the state of affairs,” remembers Venkat.

Evolution of 108

EMRI first signed a settlement with the (united) Andhra Pradesh government on 2 April 2005, stating that the latter would be a non-investment accomplice even as the EMRI, with its own funds might design, set up and run the ambulances at their own price.

“Receiving Rs 34 crore from Ramalinga Raju and 17 contributors of his circle of relatives, I utilized this corpus of finances to assemble the EMRI constructing, offered hardware for a name center, bought its first 30 ambulances and started the emergency provider on 15 August 2005,” says Venkat.

First released in Hyderabad, the 30 ambulances were running in Tirupathi, Vishakapatanam, Vijayawada, and Warangal using September end.

Within some months, but, Raju desired to increase the field of EMRI’s operations. Borrowing Rs forty crores from a bank, EMRI launched another 40 ambulances. By June 2006, they have been operating 70 ambulances in about 50 towns and towns in Andhra Pradesh. They used the primary Rs seventy-four crores to build infrastructure, buy the ambulances, hardware, and meet operational charges.

Although privately funded, the State government was carefully overseeing the task. Upon seeing the success of the operation, the State government, in August 2007, decided to fund 95 in step with cent of the operation. The events signed a second agreement at the same the following month.

As in keeping with the second settlement, the government could fund the purchase, and operation of those ambulances, except conduct performance evaluations. Meanwhile, EMRI might tell them approximately the cost of ambulance, gadget, how tons money changed into spent each zone and spotlight overall performance signs, among others.

“By August 15, 2007, the State authorities had seven-hundred ambulances strolling on its 108 services. We had been nominated as an unmarried nodal business enterprise to run the 108 ambulance service with total operational freedom,” informs Venkat.

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