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Be humane while dealing with patients, Mamata tells pvt hospitals

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said hospitals were not slaughter houses. This was a different trade and if the private hospital owners were genuinely doing business, then the state government would always provide support.

She was inaugurating the Kamalnayan Bajaj Sankara Nethralaya at New Town. She also hinted that a bill would come up in this regard, but did not divulge when it would be tabled before the Assembly.

"Many things have happened. I have received many complaints against private hospitals in Kolkata and the districts. But I will say, let us have a new beginning.

Please do not take fixed deposit certificates; house deeds from patient's relatives if they are unable to pay hospital fees. Please do not hold onto a dead body if the patient party could not pay you. I am not saying this only to private hospitals in Kolkata. I am also saying this to hospitals and nursing homes in districts as well," the chief minister said.

"Every hospital in this state has to take extra responsibility. One thing that you must remember is that no misdeed will go unnoticed," the chief minister added.
"I am not against doing business. You should ensure profits doing fair business. The government will always stand beside you if you are doing genuine business, otherwise, strict action will be taken," the chief minister said.

The CM also advised hospital owners to employ a nodal officer who would address the problems of patient parties carefully and provide solutions. "A family reached my house a few days ago. They were helpless. They said they had exhausted their life's savings while providing treatment to a family member in a private hospital. I was very tired that night after completing my day's work. But, I could not turn my back to those hapless family members so I called up Arup (minister Arup Biswas) to arrange a seat for the patient in P G hospital (SSKM Hospital). Later I heard that the patient died there," the chief minister turned emotional while sharing this episode.

"Even I would be helpless if I fall ill and somebody asks me to cough up Rs 5 lakh for treatment. I cannot understand the reason that why these hospitals are charging such exorbitant fees from patients, why are medicines so expensive?" She wondered. "I will advise the private hospitals to arrange some seats for the poor and downtrodden. But you have to ensure that proper treatment will be given to such patients," she further said.

Praising the Sankara Nethralaya family, she said, they have set new benchmarks in eye treatment in the country. They provide free treatment, free surgeries, medicines to people who are economically challenged. Institutions like Sankara Nethralaya are welcome to invest in Bengal.
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