MUMBAI: A Covid-19 patient was recently charged Rs 8,000 by a private ambulance to transport her from one hospital to another 200 metres away in Kurla. A relative of the patient made a video of the driver insisting on the Rs 8,000 and it went viral.
On Monday, Kurla resident Kabirun Nisa was admitted to Habib Hospital with symptoms of novel coronavirus infection. The next day, when the middle-aged patient’s reports came positive for Covid-19, the hospital told her relatives to take her to another hospital as Habib did not have the facilities to treat her.
“I called Just Dial and enquired about a private ambulance as the government ambulance was not available. I was directed to contact Mobile Care, an ambulance service in Jarimari. They sent an ambulance and said they would charge Rs 10,000,” Mohammed Mudassar Shaikh, Nisa’s brother-in-law, said.
Shaikh said the patient needed oxygen and a regular vehicle was risky. So, he bargained and brought the fare down to Rs 8,000. Nisa was transported in the ambulance from Habib Hospital to Fauzia Hospital, 200 metres away. After Shaikh got Nisa admitted to Fauzia Hospital, he came down to pay the ambulance driver. “I told him to take a little less. We were ready to pay even for the PPE kits the driver had used. His owner would not take less than Rs 8,000,” Shaikh PHO said.