At a time when there are heartbreaking stories of people being denied ambulances in several parts of the country, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to make it more difficult to get access to the services.
According to a Times Of India report, the UP government is making Aadhaar card mandatory for anyone wanting to avail its free ambulance service. If a patient calls an ambulance to his home, his relative or he will have to produce their Aadhaar card, notes the report.
The move is to reduce fraudulent use of the vehicles. Health department officials told ToI that ambulance drivers often fake their trips and siphon off money for fuel. The compulsory Aadhaar card is touted to end that practice.
"The state government has instructed us that whenever anyone calls for an ambulance, his Aadhaar card must be produced," Bijnor CMO Suhveer Singh, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
Last month, in an appalling incident of medical apathy, a labourer was forced to carry the body of his 15-year-old son over his shoulder after being allegedly denied help by doctors at a government hospital in Uttar Pradesh's Etawah district.
Earlier this month, in another case of negligence by authorities, a man was forced to carry the body of his seven-month-old niece on a bicycle from a district hospital in Kaushambi. The administration reportedly could not arrange an ambulance as there was no budget for fuel.
The government has not yet declared the exact date to make Aadhaar card compulsory in the state.
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