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Uber Has Affected Ambulance Usage in the U.S.

AmbulanceA recent study has revealed that ambulance usage in the 766 U.S. cities in 43 states has decreased since Uber started operating there.

People would prefer to use Uber instead because of the high cost of using an ambulance to go to a hospital, which can reach thousands of dollars.

(Read: Did UberX Reduce Ambulance Volume?)

The research paper authored by David Slusky, a professor of the Department of Economics at University of Kansas, and Dr. Leon Moskatel of the Department of Medicine of Scripps Mercy Hospital compared ambulance usage rates in those cities before and after Uber was introduced between 2013 and 2015

Not Unique to the U.S.

And the use of Uber instead of an ambulance to go to a hospital isn’t only a situation that’s unique in the U.S. because it also happened in Canada.

(Read: Uber Accidentally Charged Someone $18,000 for a Ride to the Hospital)

Slusky said after using various methods to obtain the “most conservative” decline in ambulance usage, he and Moskatel calculated the decrease to be “at least” 7 percent.

Drop in Ambulance Usage to Stabilize at 10 to 15%

Moskatel told Mercury News: “My guess is it will go up a little bit and stabilize at 10 to 15 percent as Uber continues to expand as an alternative for people.”

Slusky and Moskatel said they would submit their study to journals for peer evaluation.

Uber’s Comment

When sought for comment by Mercury News, Uber spokesman Andrew Hasbun they are “grateful” that Uber “has helped people get to where they’re going when they need it the most.”

Hasbun, however, emphasized that it Uber is not and should not be used as a substitute for ambulances that have medical personnel.

In the event of any medical emergency, we always encourage people to call 911.”

What’s Next?

What are your thoughts on the study showing a drop in ambulance usage in the U.S. because people want to take Uber instead, to avoid paying much for the use of an emergency vehicle?

Post your comments below.

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