- Police helpline 100 was difficult to reach.
- Many patients were left abandoned and were helpless to get to a hospital.
- Their nature of the crisis was subjugated by not assigning any ambulance.
THDNewsDesk, Hyderabad: On Thursday, numerous people caught on roads, miserably trying to get a drive to hospitals as most ambulance services were either inaccessible or too overpriced. Those who called for 108-ambulance services 1either could not connect or were not provided with the certainty of their arrival. Their nature of the crisis was subjugated by not assigning any ambulance.
Police helpline 100 was difficult to reach, leaving most of the patients helpless. The aggrieved spent two to three hours on roads, arranging to get a drive to hospitals. They ended up giving extra or returning home amid the transportation catastrophe.
P Suresh (name changed) stated, who was abandoned with his 65-year-old father at Punjagutta circle. He said that he was incapable of getting a private ambulance. He said, “I have to take my father for post-surgery care. He had a gall bladder procedure done three days back (under Aarogyasri). I was hoping to take an auto to a hospital in Jubilee Hills, but I could not get any, then I tried ambulance services. The private hospital is quoting 1,300 for 2-2.5 km distance. I can’t afford that. I have been trying to dial 108 and 100 for over an hour but could get through either. After over 10 tries, I managed to get through to 108, but they didn’t give any clear reply.”
A patient who required post-operative care was abandoned at Hafeezpet. He stated, “I couldn’t get a ride to a hospital barely two kilometers from here. I finally decided to postpone the visit.”
When reached out to 108 officials, they stated that they were swamped by requests from people who doubt they may have Covid-19.
Dr. Brahmananda Rao, the Chief Operating Officer, stated, “There is a lot of confusion among the public. They call us if they think they have symptoms of Covid-19, but we are not taking any Covid-19 suspect patients in 108. As decided by the state government, any suspect has to call 104, a dedicated helpline for Covid-19 patients and the epidemic department will shift them. Although we have some dedicated ambulances in 108 for 104 services too, patients need to call 104. Since 108 service is for transporting emergency cases such as road accidents, heart attacks, etc., other patients need to avail of private ambulance service. Private ambulances, as well as ambulances of various hospitals, are allowed under the lockdown and, people need to avail those for non-emergency situations.”
Source-Times Of India