Tirupati: CPM seeks action against ambulance operators for fleecing patients
- Urban police to hold a meeting with the ambulance operators to check hapless Covid victims
- Ambulance operators collecting Rs 5,000 for shifting patients to hospital, less than one km in the city and for hospitals 2-3 km away Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000
Tirupati: The ambulance operators' exploitation of Covid victims reached an unbearable level drawing the attention of the police and also stirred protest by CPM activists here on Thursday.
Taking advantage of the severe second wave in the city which has turned as a hotbed of coronavirus coupled with high number of patients arriving here for treatment from other districts also due to the presence of two state level cand also more than a dozen private hospital with advanced facilities and experts, the ambulance operators virtually looting the Covid patients by charging high rate. With the ambulance operators (250 ambulances in the city) forming into a powerful cartel, the Covid patients' families have no choice but pay whatever they demand in a frantic effort to save their lives. Discreet enquiries revealed that the operators are collecting abnormal charges of a minimum of Rs 5,000 for a short distance of less than one km in the city for shifting patients and for the hospitals 2-3 km away Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 or more, depending on the serious condition of the patients, to the hospital on the city outskirts.
An affected person on condition of anonymity said that he paid Rs 11,000 to shift from Ruia to Narayanadri, 3.5 km away revealing the unbearable level of private ambulances in the city.
Sadly, the victims mostly from other places and also nearby areas for one reason or other not complaining to the authorities tied of hands of police and others in taking action to rein in while the lack of dedicated ambulance service for desire to shift patients from one hospital to other hospital which is more here adding to Covid victims miseries. On this backdrop, the CPM party took a lead to voice the voiceless and staged a dharna to draw the attention of the government and police officials on the private ambulances looting Covid victims, here on Thursday.