A recent ruling in Florida by the Circuit Court of Appeals favouring a US air ambulance service forced the parents to pay in excess of $17,000 to the company. Again, the organization had sought respite citing the Airline Deregulation Act. The sad part was that the child who travelled on the US air ambulance after a car accident did not survive. This is not an isolated incident. Earlier this year, the Jones family of Texas had to face a similar problem. Their son had survived the ordeal but they were slapped with a $30,000 bill by the US air ambulance company as this amount was not covered by their health insurance.
Changing how US Air Ambulance Services Function
The US air ambulance industry is mostly for-profit and in general receives no funding from either the government or the local communities. This is in stark contrast from countries like the United Kingdom where medical flight providers enjoy some benefits from the government and a huge financial help from the local communities. Most victims who avail medical flight services repay with gratitude and by raising money. It is common to see people selling cookies to running long marathons with the sole purpose of supporting the local air ambulance services.
The Perspective of People Must Change
Local US air ambulance services must be encouraged by the local administration as well as the residents. The must make it a part of their community and take it upon themselves to nurture them. Collaborations between counties and states with regards to air ambulance services can change the paradigm of the industry as a whole and for the better. For the time being, the concept might seem Utopian, but it is something that is worth pondering. Achieving self-sufficiency could be the solution to a lot of problems.