Aitharaju Pandu Ranga Rao, popularly known as Dr. A.P. Ranga Rao, recognized for conceptualizing the 108 ambulance services, passed away early on Sunday. He was 75.

Born in the family of freedom-fighter Aitharaju Ramarao, Dr. Rao hailed from Mudigonda in Khammam district.

He completed M.B.B.S from Gandhi Medical College in 1965. He then served as a Medical Officer in Burgumpad of the erstwhile Khammam district and then moved to the United Kingdom for higher studies. He also worked with the National Health Services in the U.K.

Upon his return, Dr. Rao worked at Bhadrachalam Tribal Area Hospital for six years and moved to Hyderabad. In the city, he staged a 72-day doctors’ strike to secure benefits for medicos. While in services, Dr. Rao also served as Managing Director for Handicapped Corporation and Secretary for A.P, Red Cross Society. He is also credited with conceptualizing 108 and 104 services. He went to serve as Chairman of Durgabai Deshmukh Hospital.

Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao expressed his grief over Dr. Rao’s death.