Jalpaiguri: Glare on private ambulance fare
Authorities of the Jalpaiguri Medical College & Hospital have formed a committee to probe into Thursday’s incident of a father and a son carrying a woman’s body on their shoulders after they failed to pay the money demanded by some private ambulance drivers.
“A five-member committee has been formed to conduct an inquiry of the incident. It will submit a report within seven days.
“Also, the private security personnel who guard the hospital premises have been asked to furnish a report,” said Kalyan Khan, superintendent of the medical college.
Yesterday morning, a rare scene was witnessed in Jalpaiguri town after Laxmirani Dewan, a 72-year-old woman hailing from Kranti block of the district, died at the hospital. Her husband Joykrishna and son Ramprasad were seen carrying her body on their shoulders.
The duo alleged that private ambulance drivers have demanded 3,000 rupees from them to carry the body back to their native village which is 30 kilometres and that they are in a position to pay only 1,200 rupees.
As their videos and still photos went viral on social media, a local NGO stepped in and provided an ambulance free of cost to the family so that the body can be carried to the village.
According to sources, Khan, along with the nursing superintendent, the head of the department where the woman was under treatment, and a couple of others have been included in the committee.
“The committee will find out whether the patient’s family had asked for an ambulance or hearse at the helpdesks. The security personnel have been told to confirm bodies are taken away from the hospital in a vehicle in proper manner,” said a source.
On Friday, an organisation of private ambulance drivers held an awareness programme for the drivers.
“We have made it clear that from the drivers’ side, there should be no shortcoming in providing services.
“Also, there should be a consonance in the fares they charge,” said Punyabrata Mitra, the Inttuc president of Jalpaiguri town block.