Bengaluru: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar called for putting an end to the nexus between ambulance drivers and private hospitals.
Speaking after dedicating 262 new ambulances, he said, “The ambulance drivers have an underhand pact with private hospitals and they take all accident patients to private hospitals instead of government hospitals.”
“There are so many such incidents. Once they are taken to private hospitals, patients end up paying huge bills while they could have received treatment in a government hospital at a much lower price. In many cases, the private hospital bills run into tens of lakhs.
Relatives of the accident victims come to MLAs seeking monetary help on many occasions. We seek funds from the Chief Ministers fund or sometimes we pay from our pocket. All this hardship could be avoided if ambulance drivers take accident victims to government hospitals,” he explained.
The government hospitals in Karnataka are a role model to the whole nation, it is important that such advanced facilities must be made use of, he said.
Karnataka has one of the highest numbers of medical colleges in the country and produces over 10,000 doctors.
He called upon the Health Department to provide proper instructions to ambulance drivers, staff and ambulance contractors so that such incidents do not take place in the future. The Department can fix GPS in ambulances and provide suitable directions when a patient is picked up and the officials must monitor regularly.
Such incidents are highly prevalent in Kanakapura area and that is the reason a government medical college is needed for the region. A government medical college and hospital would save accident victims and other patients of financial hardship, Shivakumar added.