The recent passing of the No Surprises bill in the United States has paved the way to make air ambulance transport accessible and affordable to people of all economic classes in the country. Other evolved air ambulance markets around the world in countries like the United Kingdom and Ireland rely on public and corporate donations to run the services. As a result, they are affordable to people in general. On the other hand, there are developing countries, primarily in Asia and Africa. In these countries, the air ambulance industry is not fully evolved.
The State of the Air Ambulance Industry in Evolving Markets
The air ambulance industry in developing nations is controlled by a few service providers. The air ambulance industry is controlled by private equity and the services are quite expensive. The costs are so high that the services are considered a privilege and only the elite few are able to afford them.
The prevailing situation coupled with patchy regulations that cover the air ambulance industry means that the service providers can have their way. On the other hand, health insurance companies do not have defined reimbursement or coverage policies that address the air ambulance industry.
What Needs to be Done?
The government of these nations need to look at the air ambulance industry and its practices closely. The first step would be to fix the air ambulance costs. In this context, it must be understood that, in most developing countries, the top hospitals are concentrated in urban parts. This leaves the rural dwellers without access to high-quality healthcare.
The other aspect that the governments need to look into is how health insurance providers cover air ambulance charges. There needs to be a blanket regulation that covers both insurance providers and the air ambulance industry. For now, it is a wait-and-watch for the citizenry of developing nations.