Over the years, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in India has witnessed significant development, aided by advancements in medical technology, infrastructure, and skilled paramedics. However, with the lack of a dedicated medical/governing body responsible for its standardization, EMS services as a sector in India is still largely fragmented and disorganized. While private EMS services are available, they are usually expensive and lack common accessibility and awareness.
One of the contributing factors to the staggered growth of EMS in the country is the absence of a standard emergency helpline number. The United States has been a prominent example in the field with its standard emergency helpline number –911 which has been operational for over 50 years now. In India, however, there has been some inconsistency with regard to the standard helpline number. While 102 was officially considered as the official helpline number, it was never uniformly implemented. In 2006, 108 was introduced as the free emergency services number in Andhra Pradesh, and by 2014, it was adopted as the standard number for EMS services by several other states in the country.
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