The prevalence of illegal ambulances around a renowned hospital in Jilin province, northeastern China, has existed for some time, according to an employee from the hospital’s emergency department who did not wish to be named.

Many people have gone on social media and said the First Hospital of Jilin University was overcrowded with ambulances, many of which were unofficial and overcharged discharged patients, the Paper reported.

On July 30, a reporter visited the hospital and interviewed an employee from the emergency department, who admitted there were about 20 or 30 “black” vehicles standing by every day to pick up patients and families who might mistake them for the official transit service.

The employee added that the hospital has been stepping up efforts to crack down on the illegal business by preventing them from entering the premises to distribute name cards and put up posters. The hospital had asked patients and their families to be vigilant.

The employee also warned that it was dangerous to use illegal ambulance services as it was unlikely there were qualified emergency medical personnel and the ambulances were notorious for overcharging.

The Changchun City Health and Wellness Committee told local media they had acknowledged the illegal activities since April this year and were taking legal action.