With hospitals being crowded with corona cases, the transportation of patients and inter-facility transfers have seen more than 50% surge in the last one month alone.
While close to 40% queries are related to the virus, a large number of calls are made for inter-facility transfers of patients. “There are nearly 800-1,000 COVID calls on a daily basis across all shifts. Most require transfer from home to hospital or private hospitals to government hospitals, “ said an executive at the 108 service provider. Officials said that they are seeing a shift of choice of hospital among patients contacting the helpline with more patients preferring government facilities over private healthcare. “The increase in the 108 ambulance requirements is also because patients want to be treated at government hospitals these days, “ said Balaji Premnath, marketing head at 108.
He added discharges are quicker than in the past and inter-facility transfers are being sought. According to Balaji, there are adequate number of emergency vehicles and staff members at GVK EMRI 108 ambulance service as additional vehicles were procured and more staff were hired to handle the demand last year. “However, in case of further requirements, we are ready to hire more staff if necessary,” he said.