Mumbai and other cities in India lack reliable ambulances or emergency medical response services. To get to the hospital, people use auto rickshaws, private cars or van “ambulances” that have no medical equipment or trained technicians. More often than not these ambulances function as hearses.
Ziqitza Health Care Limited (ZHL) was founded in 2005 by a group of young professionals who witnessed the disparity between emergency services in India and the U.S. ZHL operates state-of-the-art 24/7 call centers with ambulance tracking systems, and equips ambulances with personnel trained in basic and advanced life support. ZHL’s training programs are certified by the American Heart Association and New York Presbyterian Hospital.
In Mumbai, ZHL uses a sliding price scale that depends on a customer’s ability to pay – the fee is determined by the hospital type selected by the patient. All accident victims, disaster victims, and unaccompanied victims are transported free of charge. In other locations, calls are subsidized by the government and in some cases patients also pay a small fee.
The company has grown quickly. ZHL operates more than 980 Ambulances across five states in India. The company served over 2 million people since 2005. To date ZHL has been awarded 80 million USD in government contracts to provide free or subsidized service in several states.
The company conducts Free Health Check Up Camps for local communities.
In November 2008, ZHL was the first Ambulance service to arrive at the Taj and Trident Hotels during the Mumbai terrorist attacks. ZHL was also the first to reach the scene of the July 2011 bomb blasts in Mumbai at Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House, and Dada, saving 11 lives.