A private ambulance charged a patient’s relative a whopping Rs11,000 to transfer a COVID-19 patient from one hospital to another covering a distance of mere 2.5 km. What is interesting is that the ambulance driver then refused to give a receipt of the same.
BJP MLA Vallabh Kakadia who is a trustee of one of the hospitals from where the patient was transferred when told of the incident asked the patient to file a case against the private ambulance service provider.
Janak Panchal, a resident of Bapunagar, had admitted his grandmother Champaben to the Kakadia Hospital on September 27. The next day she tested COVID-19 positive and the hospital advised him to shift her to a COVID-19 facility.
He could not find a hospital willing to take her but the Kakadia Hospital finally told him that a bed at Kothiya Hospital was available.
The hospital authorities called a private ambulance service and told Panchal that he will have to pay for it. Panchal agreed.
Trouble with ambulance service
The new hospital was just 2.5 km away but the ambulance driver charged him Rs11,000 which he paid as he was in a hurry to shift his grandmother.
Later he called the Jay Mataji Ambulance service and asked the driver for a bill for the Rs11,000 that he had paid.
Panchal said initially the driver tried to delay it and later told him that he will not give him a bill.
Panchal also called up BJP MLA Vallabh Kakadia to complaint about the matter. The MLA told him that the hospital of which he is a trustee will not charge such an exorbitant price and that he should file a case against the private ambulance service.
Panchal later released a video speaking of his ordeal. He said it was important to make people aware of how ambulance service was robbing the people during medical emergencies.
BJP MLA and Kakadia Hospital trustee Vallabh Kakadia said he had indeed got a phone call from the patient.
“I advised him to file a case against the private ambulance service provider. Had our hospital had an ambulance available at that time, the patient would not have needed to use private ambulance services,” said Kakadia.
“Private ambulance service providers should not exploit people in need this way,” he said.
Panchal said Kakadia Hospital authorities said they will call a private ambulance to shift the patient but he will have to bear the expense.
“When we reached the new hospital, the driver charged me Rs11,000 and I paid him since I was more concerned about shifting my grandmother. Later when I asked him for a bill he refused so I made a video of the incident to warn people about the exploitation that is going on,” said Panchal.
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