The West Bengal government has directed state-run hospitals to improve their services and set up patient grievance redressal cells. “Effective patient grievance redressal mechanism will be put in place in medical college hospitals and district hospitals within a month so that patients and their representatives can ventilate their grievances,” R S Shukla, Principal Secretary of Health and Family Welfare department, said on Wednesday.
He was talking after a review meeting of the Health department chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who also holds the Health portfolio. During the meeting Shukla said the Chief Minister directed that quality and range of healthcare services should be improved.
Banerjee also issued instructions for closer monitoring and supervision at all levels by various means including surprise visits at hospitals.
Patient amenities like drinking water, waiting area, proper signage etc would be improved along with cleanliness and a facelift of the hospital buildings and surrounding areas.
“An appeal is also made to the patient and patient parties to cooperate with hospital authorities in provision of patient care services,” Shukla said.
When asked about shortage of medical staff, he said altogether 6,000 to 7,000 such staff including nurses and technicians would be recruited this year. Highlighting the achievements of the government in the health sector, Shukla said institutional delivery has gone up from 67 per cent in 2010-11 to 87.4 per cent in 2015-16.
Maternal mortality rate has reduced to 113 per one lakh births now, while infant mortality rate has also gone down to 32 per one thousand births, according to latest data from the National Family Health Survey.
“We are among the best states in India in these parameters,” the health department official added.