Why a Taxi Should Never Be Used for Non-Emergency Transportation

May 11, 2020 11:13 pm Published by

Every person in the country uses healthcare services for everything from routine physical exams to blood tests to surgery—but you need reliable transportation to get to medical facilities safe and sound. While many able-bodied individuals can drive themselves to their doctor’s office and non-emergency medical appointments, others cannot. If someone doesn’t have a car, is unable to drive or does not have a family member to take them, other options must be explored.

Let’s take a look at what non-emergency transport is and the reasons why you should not use a taxi for non-emergency medical transportation in Tacoma, WA.

About non-emergency transportation services

Non-emergency medical transportation service is intended for individuals who are not facing an urgent medical or emergency situation, but who need the type of assistance that a taxi or ride share cannot provide. Simply put, taxis are not equipped to transport riders who rely on medical devices or who have other special needs.

Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is available to anyone in need of the service, not just a certain portion of the population. Someone could require a specialized medical transportation vehicle all or most of their life. However, this group also includes relatively healthy individuals who may find themselves in need of this type of help only temporarily, such as being laid up after surgery or serious injury. For example, post-surgery patients must wait until they are cleared to drive by their doctor, whether or not the surgery involves their hands, feet or limbs. In many cases, these patients are on a medication that prohibits them from operating a motor vehicle while under its influence.

If you are recovering from an acute injury or surgery or are on pain medications, but need to get to the hospital and back home again, this is where non-emergency medical transportation services come in. These specialized vehicles are equipped to cater to your medical needs, as well as able to accommodate medical devices like wheelchairs and stretcher beds. Even if you’re in a cast or on crutches, riding public transportation to checkups is uncomfortable—NEMT may be a much better option.

Why avoid a taxi for non-emergency transportation

NEMT is set up by the individual, a family member or the healthcare facility. Sure, the same can be done to book a taxi ride, but taxis are not set up for handling medical situations.

First and foremost, no matter how clean a taxi cab driver keeps their vehicle, an individual with a compromised immune system is at risk for picking up germs. An NEMT transportation vehicle is properly sterilized before and after every patient pickup and drop-off to ensure proper sanitation of everything in the vehicle.

Another problem with hailing a cab for medical transport is accommodation. A taxi—whether it’s a sedan or a van—is unable to accommodate wheelchairs and other specialized medical equipment. Also, taking a taxi compromises your safety. You’re already in a delicate state and don’t want to worsen your pain or discomfort.

Call Around the Sound today for more information on the key differences between medical transportation and taxis in Tacoma, WA!

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