Demand grows for air ambulance to smaller cities amid pressure on COVID-related facilities in bigger cities


New Delhi: The surge in COVID-19 cases has led to some change in the manner in which air ambulances are being hired and there is demand now to go to smaller cities from bigger cities from relatives of patients. Amid reports of shortage of medical oxygen and struggle of beds in bigger cities, people are preferring to take their patients to smaller cities.

“People are seeking air ambulances to cut down on time. The demand of air ambulances has been increased manifold”, said Vinayak Sinha, owner of India Air Ambulance.

He said people are taking air ambulance services to cities like Nasik, Kolhapur, Lucknow, Kanpur, Patna, Ranchi, Mangalore from metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata,
Sinha said people are moving from larger bigger cities to smaller cities as well, because they’re finding it more convenient to get hospital admissions, oxygen, ventilator and services required for a COVID patient.

“People are moving from Delhi to Bhubaneswar, Jamshedpur, Durgapur. If I talk about Mumbai, people are moving to Kolhapur Nagpur, Nasik, even to Satara. These places have lesser medical infrastructure but they still they’re able to find a bed, oxygen and all other support which is required for a COVID patient. In case of Bangaluru, people moving to Bellary, Mangalore and other smaller places. From Chennai, they are going to cities like Coimbatore, Trichy,” Sinha said.

He said they are getting calls from smaller cities too and sometimes it is difficult to land air ambulance.

“We got a call from Sagar in Madhya Pradesh. We cannot operate because a jet cannot land in a smaller runway. We are doing our best whatever solutions are possible. We are taking care of the patients,” he said.

Sinha said the charge is around Rs 4.5 lakh for smaller aircraft and Rs 8.5 to 9.5 lakh for a bigger aircraft.

He said there were delays sometimes as air ambulance needs permission of district magistrate and there was need to make the process faster. (ANI)