Ambulance firm: Post is malicious
Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - July 25, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  A private ambulance service company has cried foul over an alleged malicious post about its service that reportedly overcharged a patient in one of the barangays in Cebu City.

Rapid Ambulance Service's Operations Head Raffy Enriquez, in an interview with The FREEMAN, said the family of a suspected COVID patient has already apologized about the post and reportedly denied they were the ones who posted it online.

The Rapid’s legal team is currently looking into the matter and may take legal action against the one behind the post.

Enriquez said when the patient's family contacted Rapid, the company presented to them the details of the fees for their service, which the family had agreed to and paid P10,050.

Enriquez showed The FREEMAN a screenshot of their conversation with one of the family members as proof if they have already contacted the hospital of their choice for availability and they had responded yes. However, they were referred to another hospital when they arrived there, which also entailed additional charge and were reportedly explained to them beforehand.

“RAPID Ambulance Service is a fully private ambulance service. It is the only one operating in the whole Cebu that has no government and foreign subsidy. We are just a secondary alternative ambulance service. You have other options like your barangay, municipality, city, or province,” read Rapid's official statement.

Enriquez said it is unfair for them to be accused of profiteering especially in the time of the pandemic, as they are trying it’s best to serve the people the best way they can and help save lives.

He added that it is expensive to run an ambulance service company, considering the accreditations and permits that one had to comply with.

Right now, they are even operating with only 12 personnel from 45 after some have quit their jobs after being scared to face the unknown, for their family while others have been quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19.

There are also instances that the government has tapped their services for free and they are the ones who solely pay for their manpower.

Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, the City’s Task Force chief for COVID-19, said the most that they can do right now is talk to Rapid officials and check if they can possibly lower their fees in time of the pandemic.

“Medyo na shock ko kay dako ra kaayo ilang charges. In time of pandemic, businesses, especially life-saving business, should be fair. We will request to them na if pwede, they will lower their fees,” said Tumulak.  GAN (FREEMAN)

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