Pradeep Pattanayak

After Smart Health Cards under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, the Odisha government, in order to ensure last mile connectivity in health sector in far-fetched locations, will launch air ambulance service to four districts from December 20. 

Informing journalists about the same, Health Minister Naba Kishore Das said the air ambulance service will be launched on Monday from Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar.

The new facility is aimed to cater to the requirement of faster ambulance service in inaccessible regions where quality healthcare is not available. In such areas, air connectivity to ferry patients will greatly help people.  

"As all of you know when the urgency of expensive ECMO treatment was felt in Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took steps and launched the facility. Now ECMO treatment is available free of cost at SCB Medical College and Hospital. So now the government has decided to provide air ambulance service to people, the Health Minister told media persons.  

In the first phase, the air ambulance service will be rolled out in the districts of Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nuapada and Kalahandi.

“The service will immensely benefit the people. All the procedures required to start air ambulance service will be followed,” the Minister said adding that requests for the air ambulance service will come from the districts and then they will be managed carefully.