ZHL provides Ambulance Access for All, as part of new Business Call to Action initiative in India

Aug 30, 2013

New York, Mumbai — India-based Ziqitza Health Care Limited (ZHL) has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to expand its ambulance services across India, Africa and Latin America, and increase the number of patients served from 2 million in 2012 to 7 million by 2015.

ZHL’s vision is focused on saving human lives by creating a strong network of fully equipped ambulances across the developing world to act as a robust emergency response mechanism.

Despite progress in the healthcare sector, India has yet to establish a comprehensive emergency medical services (EMS) system that can be accessed by all, including the poor. An accessible and affordable ambulance service is critical for the sector.

To meet this urgent need, ZHL partners with various state governments under the brand “Dial 108 in Emergency.” This could be either free for emergency victims or on a user fee basis, depending on the state. This model is currently operational in Bihar, Trivandrum, Punjab and Odisha.

ZHL also operates a private ambulance service with different prices, where the more affluent pay higher costs, the less affluent pay lesser costs and the very poor emergency victims are treated free of cost. This cross-subsidizing model called ‘Dial 1298 for Ambulance’ is operational in the city of Mumbai, Punjab, Bihar and Kerala. Both “Dial 108 in emergency” and Dial ‘1298’ for Ambulance also employs staff in an emergency call response center and well-trained ambulance crews.  

In addition, ZHL operates an ‘Ambulance Outsourcing’ model where ZHL provides a fully equipped ambulance with a trained driver and a paramedic to hospitals who outsource this aspect of their business to concentrate on their core specialties of treating patients.

“It is very encouraging that ZHL, a pioneer in providing emergency health services will join the Business Call to Action. For too long, the poorest emergency victims have been overlooked and ZHL’s efforts in the sector are extremely welcome.” the Acting Programme Manager of the BCtA, Sahba Sobhani, said. 

The Indian health care sector is expected to reach more than US$100 billion by 2015, according to Fitch Ratings Agency. While the government recently launched a program for improving health care delivery across rural India, many of the consumers will be in low-income areas, where there is a clear lack of available, affordable and acceptable emergency products and services. ZHL thus also provides much needed training and capacity building for paramedics employed in emergency service.

ZHL believes that the private sector has an important role to play, and through the innovative use of cross-subsidizing models, the private sector, the public sector and the poor can benefit.

“We are pleased to continue to reach new patients and serve clients who often have no access to the quality health services or ambulatory services they need.  We are confident that the ZHL program will also allow us to expand our services to much needed clients across the country” ZHL, CEO Sweta Mangal said.

The Business Call to Action (BCtA) is a global corporate leadership platform comprised of over 70 member companies worldwide committed to improving the lives and livelihoods of millions through commercially-viable business ventures that engage low-income people as consumers, producers, suppliers, and distributors of goods and services. The initiative is the result of a partnership to meet the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals by 2015 that includes: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development (DFID), US Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Global Compact, and the Clinton Global Initiative.  

Ziqitza Health Care Limited (ZHL), was set up by a group of young professionals who, after their education / training in the US and professional employment / entrepreneurial projects in India, realized the acute need for organized and networked Ambulance service in India for saving lives which may otherwise have been lost ONLY for want of timely medical attention. Ziqitza health care operates the Emergency Medical Response (Ambulance) Services under two models Dial '1298' for Ambulance (Popularly called 1298 model) – Fee for Service model with cross subsidy, where the rich and affordable pays higher and the poor pays less, and for very poor/accidents/emergencies the service is free of cost. Currently this service is operational in the city of Mumbai, Kerala, Punjab and Bihar. Dial '108' in Emergency (Popularly called 108 model) – This model is usually in public private partnership with State Governments, this could be either free to patient or on a user fee, as per the contract with State Governments. The service is provided to Emergency victims. This model is operational in Bihar, Trivandrum, Odisha and Punjab.

Contact information

BCtA: Karen Newman; karen.newman@undp.org; +1 212 906 5194; @bctainitiative
Ziqitza: Tarun Verma; tarun.verma@zhl.in; + 919 779 912 342

UNDP Around the world