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Pvt hospitals can't hold bodies over pending bills: Govt panel

NEW DELHI: The private hospitals cannot hold bodies of deceased patients over pending bills, recommended an expert panel formed by the Delhi government.
The committee also suggested that the private hospitals should follow a reasonable margin and keep medical test rates nominal.
The submission of the committee came a day after Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain pitched in to the Centre that the margin of profit earned on the maximum retail price of any medicine or equipment should be fixed at not more than 50 percent of its cost.
Jain said the Aam Aadmi Party government had been, through Mohalla Clinics and other measures, trying to make healthcare more accessible to people, keeping in mind the poor and the needy.
"So, the question comes as to how will we ensure affordability. I would like to urge the Centre to fix the margin of profit earned on the maximum retail price of any medicine, any equipment or any consumable, to not more than the 50 per cent (of the cost)," he said.
"For instance, a medicine that costs Rs 10 should not have MRP of more than Rs 15," said the Minister, adding that the Centre should issue an order in this regard.
The officials of the health department said the submissions by the committee would be very helpful for the government to form a proper rule for the private hospitals.
"The department has always received various complaints against the private hospitals but we cannot go forward with those reports but now after these recommendations, the government will directly ask to implement these rules in the hospitals," said an official.
Talking about the key recommendations the official said the private hospitals have no right to keep the body of the person after his death if the payment is not completed.
"It is an inhuman practice and it illegal too but the hospitals continue this practice due to profit but the Delhi government will be strict against all these things," he said.
It may be mentioned that the Delhi government had cancelled the licence of Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh for alleged medical negligence over the delivery of twin babies, in which one of the babies was found alive after being declared dead by the doctors.
The move came after a three-member inquiry panel of the government submitted its final report to Health Minister Satyendar Jain, who described the incident as "not acceptable".
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) of the Delhi government's health department, the licence has been cancelled until further order.
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