Over 44 per cent of emergency services attended by 108 Arogya Kavacha services over the past five years are childbirth-related emergencies. Out of around the 23.88 lakh emergencies, 10.70 lakh emergencies attended were childbirth related cases, as per data given by GVK EMRI, the private agency that runs the 108 Arogya Kavacha services along with the government.

The next highest cases attended are accident or trauma cases (3.24 lakh), followed by gastrointestinal (3.17) and other cases (3.19 lakh), which includes stroke/convulsion, high fever, burn injuries, allergy and epilepsy cases.

A press release issued by GVK EMRI said the emergency services has served 23.88 lakh emergencies and saved 85,720 lives and delivered 29,626 babies. Krishnam Raju, Director, GVK EMRI, said the private agency was in talks with the governments in Sri Lanka and Indonesia to extend their services overseas.

Meanwhile, during the fifth anniversary celebrations of the 108 services, the employees (consisting of pilots and Emergency Medical Technicians) raised slogans and sought an opportunity to present their grievances. However, a representative from their union was not allowed to speak on the occasion. The employees of the agency went on a 14-day agitation demanding increase in salaries, proper allowances and better working conditions.

An employee of the company on condition of anonymity told The Hindu that although Health Minister U.T. Khader had earlier assured them that a meeting between all the stakeholders would be convened by the Labour Department, the meeting had not yet taken place. In response, Mr. Khader said a meeting would be convened soon. He said, “We will take a sympathetic stand and social justice to the employees will be done.”

Earlier during the programme, the Minister had urged the management of GVK EMRI and the employees to “set their egos aside and work harmoniously”. He also told the employees that the government schemes and programmes were dependent on their service.

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