Hyderabad: A decision to entrust the 108 ambulance services to a private party will be taken on Tuesday, even as all indications point at the government inviting tenders to settle the issue in view of bad experience earlier with the two private managements namely EMRI controlled by computer tycoon Ramalinga Raju and GVK later.
Health and Medical Education Minister D L Ravindra Reddy announced before media persons at the Secretariat on Monday that Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy will take a decision on handing over the 108 services to a private management after threadbare discussions on the subject.
The Minister expressed displeasure over the ineffective services of 108 under the previous managements due to which the government’s image took a beating.
Soon as the 108 service was launched, the then EMRI management was granted Endowments lands in Medchal. A Call Centre became functional there for operating the services as scheduled, the Minister reminded.
He added that the persons in charge of the EMRI had straight away hypothecated the lands with a bank and pocketed Rs 42 crore during former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s regime.
When the EMRI parted ways with the 108 services, no action has been taken so far to recover the amount from them. Later the GVK Group was given responsibility of managing the 108 services, the Minister pointed out.
Presently, the GVK Group has refused to own any responsibility on the said Rs 42 crore which was taken on endowments lands. The government as well refused to own the Rs 42 crore loss, according to the Minister.
Besides, government received numerous complaints on 108 services despite incurring a heavy expenditure on it.
“There were even complaints that vehicles operating for ‘108’ were insufficient and in a bad shape,” Dr Ravindra Reddy revealed.
The Minister is understood to have directed the GVK Group to operate the vehicles on its own. Apart from this, there were also complaints pouring in on non-payment of salaries to the 108 services staff.
“The state government, despite bearing 95 per cent of the expenditure incurred by 108, is forced to take all the blame for incompetent services from the poor who have been assured of super speciality services,” the Minister bemoaned.
He added that, on another front the government incurred an expenditure of Rs 30 crore yearly due to HMRI for running the 104 services.
The Minister said that the government would hand over the Rajiv Arogyasri to another private company from September 1.
The Chief Minister has taken a decision that both the Government Maternity Hospital in Hyderabad, near Osmania General Hospital, and the Tirupati Maternity Hospital would be upgraded, the Minister informed. (INN)