Hyderabad: In a unique initiative in helping poor patients travel long distances to access quality healthcare, city-based voluntary organisation Helping Hand Foundation (HHF) is operating medical relief vans and ambulances that connect patients to State-run healthcare facilities.
The voluntary organisation has strategically placed nearly 10 ambulances and medical relief vans in several urban slums in old city to connect patients with State-run hospitals. On a daily basis, the ambulances ferry patients from multiple public health facilities and urban slums in old city area to tertiary centres for outpatient care.
Some of the locations from where the transport facilities for poor patients are provided include Barkas Community Health Centre (CHC), Masjid-e-Ishaq Health Centre in NS Kunta, Malakpet Area Hospital, MGMH Petlaburj, Charminar Unani Hospital, Kishanbagh and Babanagar.
Ambulance and relief vans are engaged in transporting patients to tertiary teaching hospitals, including Gandhi Hospital, Osmania General Hospital (OGH), NIMS, Malakpet Area Hospital and Charminar Area Hospital, for outpatient services.
“We are mobilising 100 to 120 patients daily by providing free transport. After outpatient consultation, same vehicles drop them back to the respective locations. We want to make accessibility to public health better and reduce out-of-pocket expenses,” says Mujtaba Hasan Askari of Helping Hand Foundation.
The relief vans are also picking up emergency cases from maternity hospitals and Charminar Unani Hospital. So far, 258 cases of medical emergencies were provided transportation facilities to higher centres of public health.
“We have installed GPS in all our relief vans, which enables us to track the movement of patients and the vehicles in real time round the clock,” Mujtaba Askari explained.
The voluntary organisation is operating two ambulances and eight relief vans through donations raised from various philanthropic organisations and individuals.