If you thought it was only the US which was grappling with the increasing air ambulance cost, think again. Even India is facing the same problems. However, since the regulation that guides air ambulance services in India differ from that of the US, it looks like there is hope for India, which is much poorer than the US.
The Doctors have Asked the Government to Exempt Air Ambulances from Service Tax
The air ambulance companies are charged a service tax in India. While it is not fair to ask the air ambulance companies to reduce the charges, the doctors appealed to the Union Health Ministry to wave off air ambulance service charges. Recently, an air ambulance was used to transport a heart meant for transplant via air ambulance. To make the cost bearable for the patients, the doctors have requested this exemption from the central government.
CSR and Air Ambulance Services
The doctors are looking at corporate social responsibility (CSR) of the large Indian companies. They are expecting these corporate giants to come forward and foot the air ambulance bills, which are quite often beyond what a common Indian can afford.
Indian hospitals have seen a lot of organ transplants recently. Often, the situation demands that the organ is delivered to the hospital within a gap of as little as 4 hours. With the poor Indian roads and the vastness of the country, this is highly impossible if not for air ambulance services. The doctors feel that there is hope for patients if the corporate bodies and the government come to together to make air ambulances more affordable.
It must be noted that health insurance is just catching up in India and most of the population does not have health insurance. Currently, an air ambulance cost in India can be 700,000 rupees or $10,500.