Coronavirus Mumbai: Residents struggle with ambulance services

ST Staff
Tuesday, 2 June 2020

According to reports, the ambulance service is either not available for the people or the charges are too high for the people to be able to afford the service.

Maharashtra has the highest number of COVID-19 cases, and Mumbai is the most affected city in the country. The city daily has been conducting a large number of testing, and ambulance services are in high demand. While corona is not the only health issue that affects people. The residents of Mumbai and Thane have alleged that they are having a hard time finding ambulances. 

According to reports, the ambulance service is either not available for the people or the charges are too high for the people to be able to afford the service. 

As reported by a media organisation, who met with the ambulance operator in Thane district of the 108 services said that the main issue was the availability of the beds. 

Elaborating on the issue of finding a bed, Dr Rajesh Pandey told India Today that when a patient is taken to a hospital, they don’t need to find a bed immediately. We have to at least wait for an hour to know if a bed is available. If not, the patient has to be taken to another hospital. All of this takes more than 7-8 hours. 

Sharing an incident of recent times, Pandey talked about a COVID-19 positive pregnant woman who was taken to Nair hospital and then to KEM for admission. Failing to find a bed, she was again taken to Nair Hospital. 

Stressing on the changes bought about by the global pandemic, the doctor said that post-delivery of the patient, fumigation of the ambulance takes up almost two hours. 

He also suggested that currently, they are experiencing staff shortage and also there is widespread fear among the people about COVID-19. Doctors also may not always be available, and the ambulance has to travel to pick up doctors from different places. 

Talking about the exorbitant prices, he said that the government ambulances are free, but the private ambulances charge people for the PPE and other amenities. They also include the waiting fees for the ambulance that adds to the price.

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