The West Bengal government on Wednesday laid down a series of guidelines to be followed by private hospitals, so as to curb the harassment faced by patients and their family members.
Expressing her displeasure on commercialisation of services at hospitals, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came down heavily on all private hospitals, instructing them that they are “into the business of treatment, not promotion”.
In a Town Hall meeting with authorities of private hospitals, the CM openly criticised the longstanding practise of such establishments to overcharge patients by producing “inflated bills with no transparency.”
The meeting came as an after-effect of the 15th February vandalism at Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI), where a mob of 100 people broke into the hospital premises and beat up a number of staff following the death of a girl patient admitted the day before. The mob alleged negligence on the part of the hospital.
CM Mamata Banerjee also lashed out on doctors for prescribing unnecessary tests and sending patients to specific diagnostic centres. She warned private hospitals of revoking their licences if their do not comply with government regulations.
The guidelines given to the hospitals are –
- Stop charging exorbitant medical bills.
- Stop refusing emergency patients.
- Reduce cases of medical negligence and wrong treatment of patients.
- Stop admitting patients at CCU with the intention to inflate the medical bill.
- Change the attitude and offer services more courteously.
- Prevent spreading of infection in your medical establishments.
- Create help desks for family members of patients.
- No hospital or nursing home should refuse to hand over body to family of deceased if bill is not paid.
- Maintain protocols while during treatment.
- Start offering e-prescriptions and e-records to the patients.
- Set up fair price medical centres in your hospitals.
- Try to build budget hospital for people.
Earlier, the CM also said that a health regulatory commission will also be set up under a retired judge. The Bill will be introduced on March 3.