A baby died after the driver of a free-ambulance service allegedly refused to take her from the district hospital here to another medical facility in Kolkata without being paid.
Eight-month-old Sohani Sultana, from Jatrapota area of Amdanga in North 24 Parganas district, was admitted to the Barasat state general hospital with respiratory distress a couple of days ago, hospital officials said.
Today, she was referred to the hospital in Kolkata for further treatment and when her parents tried to avail the free ambulance facility, the driver allegedly refused to ply his vehicle without being paid.
Amid arguments over demanding money for a free service, the condition of the baby deteriorated and she soon died, the officials said.
“The ambulance service is a private one and operates under the state government’s Jana Jibon Suraksha Yojana. They are supposed to ferry needy patients free of cost. We have received complaints from the baby’s parents and a three-member fact finding committee has been set up to probe the incident,” said Chief Medical Officer, Health, Dr Prahlad Acharya.
Angry residents protested outside the hospital after news of the baby’s death spread and also blocked the road for a brief period.