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Ambulance business

Money-making in name of human service

By Special Correspondent
17th-Oct-2016       
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A syndicate is running 'ambulance service business' at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), taking advantage of inadequate number of ambulance in the hospital.  
This syndicate comprising hospital staff and drivers are pocketing handsome amount of money every day from carrying patients and dead bodies.
Sources said, most of the times they virtually compelled the patients' relatives to avail their ambulance charging higher than other services. Even, it prevents patients to choose alternatives.   
The syndicate has also set up an illegal ambulance stand on both sides of the road in front of the hospital to run their business. Around 50 ambulances remain parked there every day without any effort by the authorities concerned to remove the illegal parking.  Sources said the syndicate has also deployed a line man who collects Tk 300 per day from per ambulance parked from main outdoor gate to emergency areas.  "Our hospital employees and staff are operating the service from behind the scene. They are the owners of most of the ambulances," an official of DMCH's transport pool told The New Nation yesterday, seeking anonymity.
He said ward boys, drivers and officials from hospital administration are also involved in the business.
Four people, including a pregnant woman, were killed and three others injured when an ambulance ran them over inside the hospital on Saturday. Investigation Officer of the case, Shah Alam, a Sub-inspector of Shahbagh Police Station told The New Nation yesterday that the ambulance driver is Shohag and he had no driving license.  "The driver is on the run to avert arrest," he said.
DMCH sources said Abdul Haque Rana is the owner of the vehicle and his father was a former employee of the hospital.
 "We have no adequate number of ambulance in our transport pool hindering smooth ambulance service to the patients," Brigadier General Mizanur Rahman, Director of the hospital, told The New Nation yesterday.
 "We have only five ambulances. We need at least 40-50 ambulances to smoothly handling the service," he added.
Mizanur Rahman said that the hospital is also run by inadequate manpower.
 "We wrote to the Ministry to fill the manpower gap and provide adequate number of ambulances," he added.
When asked, he said, operating private ambulance service by our staff is beyond his knowledge.

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