High costs keep air-ambulances out of reach

High costs keep air-ambulances out of reach

Air ambulance: The lowdown

Air-ambulance service did not quite take-off in traffic choked Bengaluru due to high costs.

Though former Chief Minister K Siddaramaiah launched the air-ambulance service with a private player in December 2016, the government largely stayed away from partnering with the providers to expand or popularise it.

Dr Venkatesh A N, senior consultant and HOD, Emergency Department at Apollo Hospital, said requests to airlift patients needing emergency treatment have come down in recent times.

But Dr T S Satish, senior consultant and HOD, Emergency Department at Narayana Hrudayalaya said the hospital has been receiving patients from outside the state and has been requesting air-lifting of patients.

“We’ve a big open space behind our hospital where choppers can land. We’re receiving at least four patients who land on helicopters,” he said.

International Critical Care Air Transfer team (ICATT), co-founded and lead by Dr Shalini Nalwad and Dr Rahul Singh Sardar, began a highly specialized air-ambulance service, having trained in  Intensive care Medicine and Aeromedical Transfers from the UK with over 15 years of experience with the National Health Service(NHS).

After migrating back to India nearly two-and-a-half years ago, the duo has catered to more than 20 cases of complex emergency and critical care medicine including organ transport in the state.

State government officials confirmed that they have not been any proposals or tie-ups from the government's end till date.