COVID-19: Charges for private ambulance services in Delhi capped at Rs 1,500-4,000

0
21


Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has finally responded to the rising complaints regarding exorbitant charges demanded by private ambulance service providers in the city.

The Centralised Accident and Trauma Services (CATS), an autonomous government body, on Thursday fixed the price ceiling for ambulances depending on the category and facilities.   

According to the order issued by Sandeep Mishra, special secretary (health and family welfare), patient transport ambulance (PTA) can charge Rs 1,500 for the first 10 kilometres (kms) and Rs 100 for each extra km thereafter.

The price cap for advanced life support ambulance with doctor is Rs 4,000 for the first 10 kilometres (kms) and Rs 100 for each extra km thereafter. For more details, please see the accompanying table.

Category

Maximum rates including oxygen, ambulance equipment as per Committee for Registration of Ambulances (CRA) guidelines, PPE Kit, gloves, mask, shield, sanitization, driver, emergency medical technician (EMT)  and doctor

Patient transport ambulance(PTA)

Rs 1,500 per call upto 10 Kilometres (kms) and Rs 100 per extra kilometer above 10 kms

Basic life support ambulance(BLSA)

Rs 2,000 per call upto 10 kms and Rs 100 per extra km above 10 Kms

Advanced life support ambulance (ALSA) including doctor charges

Rs 4, 000 per call upto 10 Kms and Rs 100 per extra Kms including above 10 Kms

Mishra, also the director of CATS, further warned that if any incident of overcharging comes to notice, punitive action would be taken against the offender, which includes cancellation of registration of ambulance and seizure of the vehicle.

The driving license of an ambulance driver may also be cancelled, the notice also reads.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the decision capping ambulance rates on Thursday evening.

“It has come to our notice that private ambulance services in Delhi are charging illegitimately. To avoid this practise, Delhi govt has capped maximum prices that private ambulance services can charge. Strict actions will be taken against those who violate the order. (sic),” he tweeted.

Ever since the unfolding of the coronavirus crisis in the national capital this year, people are complaining about overcharging by ambulance service providers.

According to some city residents, they are being forced to pay Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 for a distance of just 5-6 kms.   

“CATS is providing 24X7 free ambulance service in Delhi through a single toll free number102. However, it has come to notice that some private ambulance drivers/ service providers are charging exorbitant rates in Delhi during the COVID-19 pandemic for transporting patients which is a matter of serious concern. It has therefore been decided by the competent authority that maximum rates for PTA, basic life support (BLS) ambulance and advanced life support (ALS) ambulance shall be capped in Delhi,” says the order.

Earlier, the Delhi Police launched the Covid helpline (011-23469900) to register complaints against overcharging and cheating in the name of providing oxygen cylinders and life-saving drugs for treating Covid.

The police had also arrested two ambulance drivers for overcharging last week.

WATCH:



Source link