(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Unaware of a rule on private ambulances not being allowed inside the Muscat International Airport, a patient of liver cirrhosis had to face a two-day ordeal before being able to fly to India for further treatment. The patient, Mohammed Rafeek from India, did not know that ambulances from private hospitals are not allowed inside the airport.
''Rafeek was being treated for liver cirrhosis at a private hospital in Muscat. After consultations with doctors, it was decided to shift him to Kochi in India for further treatment,'' a colleague of the patient who works in an automobile distribution firm, said.
A ticket was booked on an Oman Air flight for Thursday along with a stretcher. A doctor and a nurse were to accompany him on the flight.
''When we reached the airport, authorities refused to let the private ambulance in, citing the rule. The national carrier too insisted on an ambulance from a government hospital,'' the colleague said and added that the government hospitals approached did not help as Rafeek was not their patient. ''After much pleading, Rafeek was finally allowed to fly on Saturday. The situation further affected his health,'' the colleague said.
A senior operations official at the airport said, "Ambulances seeking entry inside the airport are categorised into three areas. Currently the rules prevent entry of private ambulances inside the airport. As far as government-owned ambulances are concerned, the ambulance driver is replaced by the driver of the clinic at the airport while entering the airport.
''If the ambulance has a patient with a emergency medical certificate, the vehicle is permitted inside the airport on the condition that the medical staff from the clinic is accommodated inside the ambulance