UberMedic extended to private hospitals

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on April 05, 2020

Uber will make available its recently launched UberMedic service to healthcare workers in private hospitals as well, a top official has said.

This will be part of Uber’s efforts to scale up its UberMedic service, which went live just 48 hours back, Pradeep Parameswaran, President, Uber India SA, told BusinessLine.

Uber is adopting a multi-pronged approach for its Covid-19 response – bringing transportation services for healthcare workers and delivering everyday essentials at consumers’ doorsteps through last-mile delivery service (BigBasket). If authorities permit, it will soon take up transportation for emergency services such as moving patients to hospitals and essential service providers to workplaces.

Going forward, the last-mile delivery service will also be scaled up, bringing in more partners (Spencer’s is the latest to come onboard) and expanding the services to all cities that Uber currently operates in, he said.

“Our intention is to scale it to more larger cities that we cover and we will do it systematically, city by city and partner by partner,” he said.

Healthcare workers

In the current lockdown situation, absence of reliable and efficient transportation has been a big pain point for healthcare workers, given the restrictions placed by authorities. Uber is now looking to address this gap with its 24x7 dedicated service (UberMedics) to transport healthcare workers and giving hospitals the flexibility to provide optimal healthcare.

“UberMedic will be available to all hospitals. This service will be available In hospitals pretty much in every city that Uber operates. UberMedic will be available to private hospitals as well. It will be available for all normal cities that we operate in,” he said.

For private hospitals, Uber will provide UberMedic at cost, implying that all the money that a private hospital pays for the service will directly go to driver partners, according to Parameswaran.

Elaborating on UberMedic, Parameswaran said it is not a consumer App. For every hospital signing up for this service, a centralised account can be set up and that can be operated by the administrator of the hospital. The administrator can use the portal to book a service for any of the employees that are part of the hospital chain. The administrator will decide which worker should be provided with that service.

“Over the course of next week, we are reaching out to alarge number of hospitals under NHA and private sector to reach the service to all hospitals. It’s not only large hospitals that can opt for UberMedic. Even small clinics can do it,” Parameswaran said.

NHA partnership

Under the partnership with National Health Authority(NHA), Uber will initially facilitate a fleet of 150 cars free of cost to support medical facilities in New Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Prayagraj and Patna through the recently launched UberMedic.

All UberMedic cars supplied to NHA will be equipped with roof-to-floor plastic sheeting, enclosing the driver’s seat thereby acting as a protective barrier between the rider and driver. NHA has a network of 18,000 hospitals under it.

“We will look to expand the coverage of hospitals under NHA. This is very much starting point. We have started with select cities. It should be available to more hospitals over time”, Parameswaran said.

Published on April 05, 2020

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