In order to avail the benefits of its free ambulance service, the Uttar Pradesh government has reportedly made it mandatory for patients to produce their Aadhaar cards. According to a Times of India report, the kin of the patient may also provide the Aadhaar card when the ambulance arrives at their home. Officials claim the move is intended to keep in check the irregularities occurring in providing the ambulance services. The decision is likely to affect those without Aadhaar cards, many of who live in rural areas.
“No documents were required from the patient to avail the services earlier. Now 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 as saying by TOI.
Health department officials, quoted in the report, claim there have been instances when ambulance drivers register fake trips using fraudulent details just to siphon off money for fuel. The state government move, thus, was to ensure more transparency, the report adds. According to TOI, the state government has sent a letter to all chief medical officers of UP districts apprising them of the new rules.
Singh added, “The government has not declared the exact date to make Aadhaar card compulsory. For the time being, if a patient’s condition is serious and he has no Aadhaar card, he can be carried to hospital. But soon the card is set to be compulsory for all patients.”
Punam Chaudhary, a resident of Puranpur village, told TOI: “It is a good move to curb corruption in the ambulance service. But if someone does not have an Aadhaar card, what will he do? In villages like ours, ambulances don’t even arrive on time and we have to manage on our own.”