Medical professionals warn against using Uber, Lyft for ride to the hospital

(Bria Bell | WBTV)
(Bria Bell | WBTV)

ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) - In emergency situations, more people are using Uber and Lyft to get to the hospital because many believe it can be faster or cheaper, but medical professionals say you should be calling 911 when it concerns your health.

Eric Morrison, the EMS Director at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, says using an ambulance should be the only option because car service drivers are not equipped to handle serious medical conditions.

"Because if you get an Uber or Lyft to your house and someone becomes unresponsive, what is that driver going to do? Call 911."

Calling an Uber or Lyft to get to the emergency room may run you about $20 - depending on how far you live from the hospital - while calling 911 and requesting an ambulance for care and transport will run you several hundred dollars.

The average price for a trip to the hospital in an ambulance in Gaston County is $831.42 and in Mecklenburg County, it's $949. But medical professionals say you can't put a price on a life and if you don't seek out trained professionals when you need help from a doctor, it could be a matter of life or death.

Uber sent out a statement concerning rides to the hospital:

We're grateful our service has helped people get to where they're going when they need it the most. However, it's important to not that Uber is not a substitute for law enforcement or medical professionals. In the event of any medical emergency, we encourage people to call 911.

Lyft also sent out a response concerning the matter:

Lyft should not be used as a substitute for emergency transportation. In any medical emergency, people should be calling 911.

Morrison adds that in most cases insurance will cover the majority, if not all, of the cost of a ride in an ambulance.

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