Odisha CM launches air ambulance services in 4 districts

Patnaik launched the service by flagging off a chopper from the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar.

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New Delhi: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday launched the ‘Mukhyamantri Vayu Swasthya Seva’ (CM’s air health service) for four remote districts in the state.

Patnaik launched the service by flagging off a chopper from the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar.

The service has been launched for tribal-dominated Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi and Nuapada districts. Specialists such as neurologists, nephrologists and cardiologists will be flown to the district headquarters hospitals (DHHs) to treat the patients.

On Monday a six-member team including doctors of super speciality departments flew to Malkangiri. The state government will meet the expenses of the service, officials said.

Terming it as a historic move in healthcare, Health Minister Naba Kishore Das said: “The main objective of the programme is to provide quality health services to the patients, who are unable to visit cities like Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to avail super speciality care.”

“In the first phase, the service has been launched for four districts. If required we will extend the service to other places, which don’t have proper communication facilities,” Das said.

As per the requirement of the patients listed by the district healthcare authorities, senior doctors will be deployed to the concerned district through the chopper, said director of health services, Bijay Mohapatra. The required medical equipment will also be supplied to the districts, the director added.

Senior physician Datteswar Hota (urologist), a member of the team flown to Malkangiri on Monday, said: “We will stay in Malkangiri for two days and provide treatment to patients while our second team of doctors will stay for another two days to look after the post-surgery care of the patients.”

Last year, the state government had launched a boat ambulance service in Swabhiman Anchal of Malkangiri district and remote areas near Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district. The service was launched to ferry patients of the remote and interior areas to hospitals and clinics in case of emergency.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister inaugurated T-Setu, the state’s longest bridge constructed over the Mahanadi in Cuttack district at a cost of Rs 111 crore.

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