Private ambulances are being used in high numbers for inter-facility transfer of patients from home to hospital, between two hospitals and from hospitals to home after discharge. As per the new regulations, the patient transport ambulances can charge a maximum of Rs 1,500 for 10 km and Rs 25 for every additional kilometre.
The basic life support ambulance service providers can charge a maximum of Rs 2,000 for every 10 km and Rs 50 per kilometre for every extra kilometre. The advance life support ambulance service provider that offer intensive care to the patients can charge upto Rs 4,000 for every 10 km and Rs 100 per kilometre for every additional kilometre.
The COVID-19 patients earlier complained that any private ambulance service provider is charging above Rs 5,000 for basic life support ambulance to travel 10 kilometres and charge extra for waiting at the hospital premises in case of late allotment of beds. The private ambulances for patients who require oxygen and ICU set up use advanced life care support and charge above Rs 8,000- Rs 15,000 for less than 10 kilometres as they provide for additional services.
The Tamil Nadu also announced that in case such ambulances continue to charge extra, people can register complaints with the 104 helpline and action would be taken against the violators. The violations of the regulations in this regard would lead to immediate cancellation of the driving licence, cancellation of ambulance number and immediate confiscation of the vehicle.