Medical care can help people prevent illnesses, treat existing conditions, and deal with emergencies. However, before you can access medical care, you'll need to get to a medical facility. If you're unable to transport yourself for any reason, a medical transportation service can help you get to the doctor's office or hospital. Here are four types of medical transportation services that you can take advantage of:
1. Medical Shuttle
Some medical facilities offer shuttle services to their patients. Shuttle service can be used to take patients to and from routine doctor's appointments. This type of service is especially helpful for older patients who are no longer able to drive. People without access to their own vehicles may find it helpful as well. Medical shuttle services may be scheduled in advance. It's usually wise to schedule shuttle service right after making your doctor's appointment so you won't unexpectedly find yourself without a ride.
2. Non-Emergency Medical Transportation
When you need prompt medical attention, but you are not experiencing a medical emergency, it's usually a good idea to avoid calling 911. Ambulance service can be expensive, and it's best to avoid utilizing emergency services in non-emergent situations. Unlike medical shuttle services, non-emergency medical transportation services are usually not affiliated with any particular medical office. Instead, these companies provide medical transportation for people who need to go to the doctor's office, dialysis center, urgent care clinic, or any other medical facility. Non-emergency medical transportation may be scheduled ahead of time or called on an as-needed basis.
When a medical emergency occurs, time is of the essence. An ambulance can provide emergency medical transportation for people who are very sick or injured. Ambulances are operated by paramedics with medical training. Paramedics will stabilize patients on the way to the hospital, providing medication and first aid services that can improve patients' chances of recovery. Most types of health insurance will cover at least part of the cost of emergency medical transportation.
4. Air Ambulance
Sometimes people become sick or injured in a place inaccessible to ambulances. In other circumstances, ground transportation will take longer than a patient can afford to wait. Air ambulances are available for these situations. Air ambulances are typically helicopters that are used to transport patients. Like traditional ambulances, air ambulances have paramedics on board. Air ambulances may also be used to transport hospital patients who need specialized care to another hospital.