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India Today impact: Delhi govt caps fee charged by ambulance owners | Check rates here

India Today logo India Today 06-05-2021 Kumar Kunal
a group of people riding on the back of a truck

Taking a cue from India Today's sting operation, the Delhi government on Thursday decided to regularise the rates charged by ambulance owners, operators and drivers. Issuing an order, the Delhi government has now capped charges for private ambulance services in the national capital.

Earlier this week, India Today exposed the nexus of ambulance owners, operators and drivers who were fleecing Covid-19 patients and their families even in this time of crisis.

The order issued by the Delhi government threatens strict action against any individual/entity found in violation of the guidelines in this regard. In addition, the formal order covers a number of aspects and could go a long way in checking malpractice by ambulance owners and drivers charging exorbitant fees for their services.

Ambulance rates in Delhi

According to the first of a kind order, operators/drivers can charge a maximum of Rs 1,500 for a distance of 10 kilometers in the case of a patient transport ambulance (PTA). The charges will go up to Rs 100 per kilometre after the first 10 kilometres.

For the basic life support (BLS) ambulances, the owners/drivers can charge a maximum of Rs 2,000 for the first 10 kilometers, followed by Rs 100 per kilometer for the next 10 kilometres.

Similarly, operators/drivers of advanced life support (ALS) ambulances can charge a maximum of Rs 4,000 for the first 10 kilometers, including the fee for a doctor on-board the vehicle. The owner/driver can then charge Rs 100 per kilometre after the first 10 kilometres.

In its order, the Delhi government has made it clear that the prescribed maximum charges include all services such as oxygen (according to the CRA guidelines), all ambulance equipment, PPE kits and gloves, masks, shield, sanitization charges, drivers' payment and doctors' charges.

Strict action against violators

If any private ambulance service provider/operator/owner or driver is found violating these norms, strict action will be initiated, said the order. This will include cancellation of the driver's driving licence and cancellation of the registration certificate of the ambulance.

There is also a provision in the order that would allow authorities to impound an ambulance in case of a violation.

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