October 26, 2008

Top hospitals aspire for air ambulances, rooftop helipads before Commonwealth Games

Ahead of the Commonwealth Games, the most ‘in-thing’ that every super specialty hospital seems to want is an air ambulance and a helipad. Most hospitals are banking on the Games to get permission for a helipad adding an unexplored dimension to patient care and emergency services.
While air medical evacuation is already done in most super specialty hospitals in the Capital, having a helipad on the hospital roof is the next big thing. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences applied for permission from the Civil Aviation Ministry last year. Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals is also hoping for permission from authorities before the Games begin. According to sources, with Apollo in line for a helipad, competitors like Escorts, Max and Fortis are not to be left behind.

Max is also looking at helipads for its newer projects, said Dr Parvez Ahmed, Executive Director, Max Healthcare. They are already into end-to-end emergency service. Recently, an Italian was brought in from Chandigarh, treated and the hospital staff accompanied her back home to Milan. “No concrete decisions have been take yet but we are looking at this opportunity for our newer projects,” said Dr Ahmed.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued guidelines for planning, infrastructure, markings and safety regulations for construction of roof-top helipads. “Both hospitals, AIIMS and Apollo, have some internal issues that have to be solved first before they are given permission,” said J S Rawat, Joint Secretary, DGCA. Apollo Hospitals had applied for a helipad on the hospital premises five years ago.

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