Our Bureau

Mumbai, March 29

Patients in need of urgent medical treatment could soon use the services of an air rescue team that would airlift them from remote locations to hospitals of their choice.

Diversifying its portfolio, Topsgrup, the security solutions provider, today launched Tops Air Rescue (TAR), an air ambulance service that would provide patients a 24x7 bedside-to-bedside transfer, including ground transportation.

The group has chartered a number of aircraft for the service, which have been stationed at five centres Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Colombo, Chennai and Mumbai. The aircraft interiors have been modified to function as ICUs with facilities such as cardiac monitoring and advanced airway management.

While the company would provide the services in the domestic sector, it has tied up with international air ambulance services to extend the facilities overseas. Besides individuals, the service would be offered to hospitals, nursing homes, medical assistance companies, and other providers of medical care.

Dr Diwan Rahul Nanda, Chairman and Managing Director, Topsgrup, said it would invest about Rs 5 crore in the venture; most of this would go towards purchase of medical equipment.

Though the cost would differ with the destination, on average a patient would have to shell out between Rs 75,000 and Rs 90,000 per hour of flying.

To make the service more affordable, Topsgrup is in talks with insurance companies for a suitable cover for such services, he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 30, 2006)
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