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    Published On : Thu, Mar 13th, 2014

    The dead at GMCH not in peace; ambulance owners loot relatives through gang of ‘Dalals’

    According to sources, the Postmortem Department of GMCH has turned a hub for earning easy and more money for private ambulance owners and staffers as well at the cost of dead. The ambulance owners have created a gang of “Dalals” (middlemen) which is active in full swing in the premises of the GMCH.  The gang forces the relatives to take their dead by ambulances to their destinations. The bargaining depends on the pockets of the relatives. The heavier the pockets the heavier the cost. The gang of middlemen receives their commissions according to their bargaining power.

    Nagpur News.

    Representational Pic

    Representational Pic

    The Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), it appears, is in race with itself to be in headlines, of course, for wrong reasons. Every other day, the GMCH is in news, then it may be poor service to patients, negligence, unhygienic conditions inside the hospital and outside too, massive irregularities in spending of funds, unhealthy deals in purchases of costly machineries and many more. Now, another dubious chapter has been added in the GMCH book of shame and shoddy affairs. “The dead are being forced to pay up for taking them to their final resting place, of course, not peacefully.” But make no mistake GMCH authorities.” The dead will remember your indifference.” “The dead will remember your silence.”

    According to sources, the Postmortem Department of GMCH has turned a hub for earning easy and more money for private ambulance owners and staffers as well at the cost of dead. The ambulance owners have created a gang of “Dalals” (middlemen) which is active in full swing in the premises of the GMCH. The gang roams about from Casualty Department to Postmortem Department for trapping victims (relatives of dead) for bargaining. The gang forces the relatives to take their dead by ambulances to their destinations. The bargaining depends on the pockets of the relatives. The heavier the pockets the heavier the cost. The gang of middlemen receives their commissions according to their bargaining power. Policemen deployed at the GMCH also play their role in this dirty game, the sources said.

    It may be recalled, a Madhya Pradesh native tipped off Nagpur Today about the shabby affairs being run by private ambulance owners at the GMCH. To ascertain the facts, Nagpur Today sent a decoy to deal with a middleman. First the middleman grilled the decoy himself with various questions, most probably as precaution. But finally came to the point and started bargaining for an ambulance. When the decoy asked the middleman about the cost, he said it depends upon the destination and most important the paying capacity of the relatives of the dead. “The cost of taking ambulance is very high. But since you have come from outstation, you will face many difficulties. You are getting the ambulance cheaply. In fact it is not fixed. Everything depends on paying capacities of customers,” said the middleman.

    NOT A SINGLE GOVERNMENT AMBULANCE:

    No ambulance is deployed at Postmortem Department by the GMCH. The Second Capital’s Government Hospital has only three ambulances and these are stationed at Emergency Department or Casualty Department. The Ambulance In Charge Dr Siddiqui said that the Government has provided only three ambulances only for bringing patients. No ambulance is provided for bodies.

    The GMCH Administration has not fixed rates for private ambulances for carrying bodies. This factor works in favour of private ambulance owners who charge hefty amounts to the helpless relatives of the dead. However, according to sources, the GMCH Administration had declared some private ambulance owners as unauthorized and many times summon them and the middlemen to curb them. But no visible effect is seen and the middlemen carry on their business with the dead with impunity.

    STAFFERS OF POSTMORTEM DEPARTMENT RECOVER MONEY:

    One ambulance owner said that the ambulance owners take reasonable money. The real culprits are inside the Postmortem Department. The lower ranked employees recover money from relatives of the dead that too before the postmortem, sources said.

    According to sources, most of the ambulance owners are retired GMCH employees who have deployed their ambulances outside the Postmortem Department. Some of them have inside connections hence they carry on their business without any fear.

    However, Dr P G Dixit, Head of the Postmortem Department, feigned ignorance over the issue. He said, earlier an incident of ambulance owners looting relatives of the dead had come to him and action was taken in the matter. If he receives any complaint in this connection, strict action will be taken against the guilty, Dr Dixit said.


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