The child’s father said that ambulance drivers at the Naidupeta hospital in Tirupati were not willing to transport her body, and so he had to carry it on his two-wheeler.

The child's body being carried by her family on their bikePic: Special arrangement
news News Sunday, May 08, 2022 - 10:39

Amidst reports of private ambulance drivers in Andhra Pradesh exploiting those transporting the bodies of their loved ones, another man was forced to carry his child’s body home from hospital on his two-wheeler. This is the third such incident to occur in the state in less than a month. It occurred on Thursday, May 5, when two children who hailed from Kothapalle in Tirupati district were playing. The deceased, Akshaya, and her sister Sravanthi accidentally slipped and fell into a gravel pond. 

The two were immediately rushed to the Naidupeta government hospital in Tirupati, where Akshaya was declared dead and Sravanthi is availing treatment. But in order to bring Akshaya’s body back home, her father alleged that ambulance drivers at the hospital were not willing to do so, and so he had to carry the body on his two-wheeler. 

Following the incident, the district administration conducted an inquiry into the matter. As per the probe, the father had approached the hospital’s ambulance drivers to transport the body, but they refused. He then went to auto-rickshaw drivers, who charged an exorbitant sum for the same. Finally, the man resorted to carrying Akshaya’s body on his two-wheeler. “The Naidupeta government hospital is a small hospital. The 108 ambulance services will be provided only for bringing patients to the hospital. Their services are limited to that. The ambulances meant to transport dead bodies, referred as Mahaprasthanam, are available only in tertiary hospitals,” clarified Tirupati Joint Collector DK Balaji. 

He further claimed that Akshaya’s family was in a hurry to take her body back home, as they did not want a postmortem to be conducted. According to K Vijayasai Kumari, District Coordinator of Hospital Services, while Sravanthi was availing treatment for her injuries, the father left the hospital with Akshaya’s body “without informing anyone”. 

This is the third such incident, of families being forced to carry the bodies of their young children on bikes due to exorbitant ambulance rates, to occur in Andhra in a month. On April 25, a 10-year-old passed away at the Sri Venkateswara Ramnarayan (SVR) Ruia Government General Hospital in Tirupati due to a kidney ailment. But the ambulance drivers outside the private hospital charged an exorbitant amount of money — as high as Rs 20,000 — to transport the body, forcing the child’s family to carry his body on their bike. The boy’s family was forced to carry his body out of the hospital on a two-wheeler and reportedly shifted to an ambulance after crossing Tirupati.

Read: Another Andhra man forced to carry son's body on bike as ambulance unavailable

In another such incident in Nellore district on May 5, the body of an eight-year-old boy was carried on a motorcycle by his relatives after an ambulance driver refused to carry it. His family alleged that the driver of a ‘108’ ambulance refused to carry the body citing rules while the 'mahaprasthanam' vehicle meant to carry bodies to the crematorium was not available.

Read: After man forced to carry son's body on bike in Andhra, 4 ambulance drivers booked

The rising number of such incidents have led the opposition to hit out at CM Jagan Mohan Reddy’s government, alleging a lack in proper healthcare services. 

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