One of the challenges I faced was transporting my father from San Pedro, Laguna to a hospital in Manila via an ambulance. The clinic in San Pedro, where I brought my father in haste, has one but it was in Batangas and no one knew when it would be back. To save on costs, it’s best to use your baranggay’s ambulance; you’ll most likely be asked to only pay for gas… and then some.
The problem was our baranggay’s ambulance left in the morning (with patients in tow) and still wasn’t back by the time we required it at about 7pm.
What my friends did was try to find a private ambulance for me. There’s one by Lifeline Rescue; however, if you’re not a member, the ‘flag-down’ rate is P4,000, plus an exorbitant charge for every meter. (I cannot remember the price.) We estimated that given the distance between the clinic and a decent hospital, we stood to pay P10,000––in cash, at that; Lifeline said we couldn’t pay by EPS or credit card. Also, P10k is a few days’ worth of hospital stay, so I couldn’t stomach the idea of paying the same amount for transportation.
So we had no choice but to wait because the clinic we were at––as well as our baranggay––wouldn’t do anything else but stare at us. (We couldn’t use private transportation either; my father required an oxygen tank and the clinic wouldn’t let us loan or sell theirs.) In fact, we waited for about four hours until finally, a good samaritan, not affiliated with the clinic or our baranggay, managed to find an ambulance for us from an adjacent baranggay.
So basically, if we were in a highly urgent, where-time-is-of-the-essence situation, my father would have long seen the tunnel of light. Unfortunately, I can’t say it hasn’t happened to other people.
As a solution, you may become a member of Lifeline Rescue, though you may want to get more details about the coverage. So far, I haven’t seen any online reviews of their service. Also, get the number of the baranggays in your area, aside from your own.
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Whenever I see an ambulance or hear its siren, I always say a prayer for its occupants. I never thought I’d actually be in one myself. It was even more surreal to find myself in the front seat as we traversed SLEX and see people either crane their necks at us or not care. I could also imagine what must have been going through their heads: “Gusto lang makaiwas sa traffic ng mga yan!” In fact, there were quite a number of cars who ignored us and never gave way; until now, I can’t believe there are people like that.
I now get goosebumps whenever I hear an ambulance.