It is true. It should be so. The man was made for joy and woe.
But the woe that this pandemic has brought along seems to be neverending. From exhausted beds to oxygen cylinders that are never enough, India’s calamitous situation is extremely saddening.
Amidst the chaos of exhausted resources and the grief of losing so many lives despite constant efforts to help, the worst in people has been highlighted.
Concerning the ambulance in Delhi, prices for ferrying patients have reached extortionist rates.
What Are The Prices?
Relocating critical covid patients via ambulance has come at a hefty price. Rs. 10k for a 4 km trip, Rs. 42k for a round trip from Model Town to Radha Soami Covid Centre in South Delhi (with a distance of about 26km), Rs. 5k per hour for the use of oxygen installed in an ambulance.
Seems like humanity and morality in their entirety have been sold out. Ambulances in Delhi are pressurizing the ones in dire need to either empty their potentially exhausted wallets or to straight up die.
Can The Government Cap These Rates?
The government can definitely cap the ambulance rates and fix them according to the general convenience.
In fact, the governments of Rajasthan and Chattisgarh have already done so. The former has fixed the price at Rs.17.50/km, as for the latter, for every 10 km, Rs. 400 will be charged.
Delhi government needs to cap the ambulance price ASAP. These are not times to practice indifference and inhumanity, and certainly not the times to rob the patients off of the already limited resources.
Pre-covid rates in Delhi were Rs 500 for the first 5 km and then Rs 50-60/km after that. The huge difference has left us in shock. This fleecing has to be halted.
“The driver said he would come only after Rs 5,000 was paid through an e-wallet. Then, on reaching the residence, the driver said oxygen would cost an additional Rs 5,000 an hour,” lamented an attendee whose patient had to be relocated from Mayur Vihar to Okhla.
The Tweet By IPS officer Arun Bothra
On April 28, IPS officer Arun Bothra shared a receipt of DK Ambulance Service that asked for a whooping sum of Rs.10k for moving a patient from Pitampura to Fortis Hospital.
What’s more baffling, is the mere 4km distance between the two locations. This extortion rate caused an outburst in the officer and led to him sharing the details with the world.
Even more so, on being questioned regarding the same, staff from the said service station replied, “We did charge that amount, but because we had provided an attendant.”
Over The Roof Prices
Another ambulance service asked Rs.15k to take a patient from Fortis hospital to Sarita Vihar (with about 34km).
The sheer nonchalance of the receptionist on being questioned can be seen when he provided this defense, “You have to wait for four hours to get an ambulance. The rates have increased because our ventilator vans have been taken over by the Delhi government for its 102 ambulance helpline.”
Causes Of Concern
Added to the increasing positive cases of COVID-19, the frauds in full swing, and the theft over the prices of resources have overwhelmed the entire nation.
We have also been given a glimpse into the extent people can go to fill their pockets and empty their morals.
The pandemic has shown a whole new range of inexhaustible audacity, as well as exhaustible resources.
But even if there’s a sliver of hope, we need to hang onto it. These are certainly tough times. Yet, hope remains.
May the resource sharing drives by India’s youth aid the ones in need, and may the medical staff be empowered to keep up the outstanding work.
Image Source: Google Images
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