Tirupati: Private ambulance operators prevent accident victim's body to be ferried in another vehicle

Unable to bear the charges demanded by the private ambulance, the relatives of the victim called for another vehicle.

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  22 Sep 2022 5:30 AM GMT
Tirupati: Private ambulance operators prevent accident victims body to be ferried in another vehicle

Tirupati: Temple town of Tirupati has slipped into a shock after private ambulance operators blocked road and did not allow the accident victim's body to be ferried in another vehicle. The incident occurred at Gudur Area Hospital when the body of the accident victim of Timmanaidu Palem was released after a post-mortem. Unable to bear the charges demanded by the private ambulance, the relatives of the victim called for another vehicle.

While the family was shifting the body, the private ambulance operators near the hospital stopped the vehicle and got into an argument with the victim's relatives. "The drivers demanded Rs 4000 for 17 km, which we cannot afford. We tried to bargain but they did not agree. When we hired another ambulance, they blocked the road and did not allow us to move", said a family member of the victim.

The victim's family complained to Gudur I Town Police, which visited the spot and registered a case against the private ambulance operators.

Previous incidents:

On 26 April 2022, private ambulance operators in Ruia Government Hospital in Tirupati stopped a private vehicle from entering the hospital premises. Unable to afford high prices, the father had to take her daughter's body home on the bike.

On 18 May 2020, local ambulance operators obstructed another ambulance from shifting a patient, leading to the death of the person.

Only 4 free ambulances:

In the Tirupati district, four Maha Prasthanam vehicles (hearse) were started during the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) regime. They shifted bodies up to a 100 km radius and operated only for 12 hours. The driver had to pick up the last case by 5 pm. Even if a person needs a free ambulance, the patient's attendants had to follow a cumbersome procedure: Write a letter and get signatures from the RMO.

Private operators:

Tirupati government hospitals are ruled by private ambulance operators. Private ambulances charge Rs 50 per km, while the rate is Rs 25-30. They demand at least Rs 10,000-15,000 for a 50 km distance. Even though the online ambulance operators get bookings, the private ambulance operators outside the hospital premises do not let them enter. "This has been the situation for a very long time. The majority of them visiting government hospitals come from poor backgrounds. Officials have failed to solve the problem", said an online ambulance operator.

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