Bhopal: Air ambulance service made free for poor

  • Shahroz Afridi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jan 20, 2015 17:21 IST

A facility so far confined to the rich and powerful would now reach the common man, too. Extremely critical patients getting treatment at government hospitals, who could be saved if provided treatment at super-specialty hospitals outside Madhya Pradesh, would get the facility of air ambulance free-of-cost.

"Patients who are critical and whose lives could be saved by referring them to other hospitals and those who need air ambulance service, would be provided with this service very soon," said principal secretary health, Pravir Krishn.

The scheme would be restricted to the BPL (below poverty line) patients getting treatment under State Illness Fund in government hospitals. If the doctors concerned think that he needed treatment at some other institution, the doctor could refer it to a senior doctor like professor or other senior member at the medical college level.

Once the senior doctor of a medical college refers the patient to another institution, it would be done immediately. "If the situation demands emergency along with use of air ambulance, it would be provided immediately to the patient for free and expenses would be met by the state government," confirmed Krishn.

Patients getting treatment under State Illness Fund are provided free treatment for serious ailments up to Rs 2 lakhs. Talking to HT, Krishn said that the process has been initiated and tenders have been called for air ambulance service under the scheme. If everything works according to the plan, air ambulance services would begin by the first week of March.

One sortie by an air ambulance from Bhopal to Delhi costs around Rs 4 lakh. The air ambulance service would be outsourced to 108 ambulance services, that is currently providing road ambulance services in the state. The 108 ambulance service would enter into an agreement for tertiary services with another agency, if required, said Krishn.

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