Bhubaneswar: In an another significant step towards fast and emergency health services in the State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday dedicated 349 new ambulances to the people of Odisha. This is for the first time that such a vast number of ambulances have been added to the State’s medical service at an inauguration ceremony held at the Kalinga Stadium. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that this will help many precious lives. “Our efforts will continue according to the principle of ‘every life is precious”, the CM added. Out of the 349 ambulances, 279 ambulances have been added to the 108-ambulance service. The remaining 70 ambulances have been provided to government medical colleges, hospitals and district headquarters hospitals. Out of these 70, 40 are life saving basic ambulances and 30 life saving advanced ambulances. After the inclusion of these new ambulances in the 108- ambulaance service, the total number of ambulances has increased to 1366, according to an official release. On an average, more than 4,000 patients are being shifted to the hospital by this 108-ambulance service every day. The 108- ambulance service will become more accessible and convenient after induction of new ambulances. 70 ambulances serving government medical colleges and hospitals, and district headquarters hospitals will be used for emergency transfer of patients under the BSKY from government hospitals to private hospitals where there is necessary and will help meet the urgent needs of other patients at the district level. 5T Chairman VK Pandian was present along with the Chief Minister. Among others, Health Minister Niranjan Pujari, Health Secretary Shalini Pandit and other senior officials attended the inauguration ceremony.