West Bengal government will soon start a free-ambulance service to help save lives of road accident victims by taking them to nearby hospitals as fast as possible.

A senior official of the state health department said, “Starting with at least 150 ambulances, the state government is at the moment setting up a detailed map of the accident prone zones and the nearby hospitals.”

“This service will primarily work on the GPS system and for the same, the state government will have to bear a cost of around ₹ 30 crores,” he added.

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There will be two types of ambulances basic life support ambulances and the advance life support ambulances, he said, adding that a toll free number will be given.

The Health Department is in talks with the Public Works Department (PWD), police, and the transport department regarding the launch of free ambulance service for road accident victims.

The senior official also said, “This service will definitely help us in saving the lives of road accident victims. We are targeting to take the victims to nearby hospitals or medical colleges or trauma care centres within 15 to 20 minutes after getting calls regarding the accident. We are looking forward to start this service immediately.”

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“The police and the transport department have been asked to provide details of the accident prone areas in the state depending on which the PWD department will be preparing a map on the accident prone zones here for this kind of ambulance services,” he added.

Asked whether private hospitals will also be enrolled for the services, the bureaucrat said that at the moment the department has concentrated on including those run by the state government.