Hyderabad: The state-of-the-art health infrastructure coupled with medical expertise available in Hyderabad has made several Covid-19 patients in other parts of the country opt for treatment in hospitals in the State capital. This has resulted in huge demand for air ambulance services to airlift patients to the city following the second wave of Covid.
Since April, the air ambulance service providers based in Hyderabad have shifted over 40 Covid patients from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and other States for treatment. After landing at the Begumpet airport, the patients are rushed to hospitals by road. Such is the demand that at least one patient is airlifted to Hyderabad every day for the past couple of weeks. Service providers are flooded with calls these days enquiring about the facility along with the costs involved in it to shift a patient to Hyderabad.
The demand for air ambulances is much higher than last year. “We have been receiving calls from patients’ family members from all the northern States to enquire about the service,” Dr Rahul Singh Sardar and Dr Shalini Nalwad, Co-founders and Directors of ICATT Air Ambulance Service, told ‘Telangana Today’.
While most patients prefer hospitals in Hyderabad, some are opting for hospitals in Chennai. “We are providing our service as per the requirements of the patient’s family,” Rahul Singh explained. To shift a Covid patient, the important prerequisite is getting a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the District Collector concerned of the area where the patient lives and the District Collector under whose jurisdiction the hospital is located.
“We have been able to airlift patients without wasting any time because of the cooperation of the officials concerned,” he explained. For instance, a patient from Gujarat was brought to the city within two hours in an air ambulance because of all formalities, including NOCs, being completed expeditiously.
“We assist the patients right from their residence to shifting him to the hospital in Hyderabad,” Rahul Singh said, adding that it costs over Rs 8 lakh for a patient to be airlifted to Hyderabad. The cost, however, varies depending on the travel distance.
“Under the supervision of a team of doctors, we shift patients in an eight-seater King Air B200 aircraft adhering to all Covid safety precautions. An isolation pod is also used for isolating the patient,” he said.
The Telangana Police are also extending necessary help in shifting the patients to hospitals, and in some emergency cases, a green channel was established to ensure quick transfer, he said. He said officials at the Begumpet airport are also extending cooperation for the smooth landing of the air ambulances even at night.
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