Health Minister Rajeev Bindal has revealed that Himachal Pradesh will boast of free ambulance services by the end of this year. This has been made possible by a tie-up with a private company.
In the first phase, the ambulance service will start on October 2 from Sirmaur, Solan, Una and Hamirpur districts. On December 25, the service will be introduced in all the other districts except tribal Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti districts.
"A PPP (public-private-partnership) agreement was signed between the government and Hyderabad-based company GVK-EMRI to run 108 ambulances in the state," Mr Bindal told reporters.
GVK-EMRI chief executive officer Venkat Chengavalli said that Himachal would be the first state in the country to boast of such a service, which is close to the recommended WHO standards.