May 22, 2012:Reports appearing in a section of the press have given rise to confusion regarding the tariffs of ambulances operating under the Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC) / Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Punjab.
For the convenience of citizens, the ambulance tariff is listed as under:
Sr. No. Ambulance Category Tariff
1. Emergency Response Service – (Commonly referred to as "Dial 108" Ambulances)
ABSOLUTELY FREE OF COST.
2. PHSC/Health Department/ Civil Hospital Ambulances (Commonly referred to as "Referral Ambulances")
For trips within Punjab from one Government Hospital to another, the first 20 kms will be charged at Rs.100/-. Thereafter, the to and fro trip will be charged at Rs.5/- per km. Thus there is no change in the per kilometre tariff.
3. For referral from a Government Hospital to a private hospital or to any hospital outside Punjab on the insistence of the patient
Tariff of Rs.25/- per km communicated vide guidelines of 2.5.2012 now stands withdrawn.
Henceforth, referral ambulances will not be permitted to ferry patients to hospitals outside Punjab or to private hospitals within or outside Punjab.
It may kindly be noted that the Emergency Response Services (ERS) commonly referred to as "Dial 108" ambulances are totally free and no tariff is charged from any patient.
For the referral ambulances owned by the PHSC/ Civil Hospitals in the state, the tariff for ferrying patients to any Government Hospital/ Medical College and Hospital in Punjab is Rs.100/- for the first 20 kms and thereafter, Rs.5/- per km for the to-and-fro trip. Thus, the per kilometre rate of Rs.5/- remains unchanged.
Earlier, PHSC received feedback from its hospitals that patients often demanded that the referral ambulance be sent to private hospitals or to hospitals outside Punjab. Hence, it was decided to fix a rate of Rs.25/- per km taking into account the need to discourage such use, the costs of such trips in terms of fuel expenses, staffing costs and inconvenience to the hospital in the consequent absence of the referral ambulances. However, to avoid confusion, this portion of the instruction stands withdrawn. Henceforth, referral ambulances attached with Civil Hospitals in Punjab will not be allowed to ferry a patient to any private hospital (within or outside Punjab) or to any Government hospital outside Punjab.
Hospital referral ambulances will thus only be used to ferry patients to other Government Hospitals/ Medical College and Hospitals within Punjab, the location of which will be decided by the SMO-Incharge of the referring hospital.
In any medical emergency, patients are encouraged to dial 108 and avail the free Emergency Response Service ambulances.