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Even after patient's death Swasthya Sathi helps family pay hosp dues

KOLKATA: The family members of a 64-year-old patient who was admitted to the RN Tagore Hospital on January 2 this year with COVID and other ailments and eventually died in the hospital after 27 days, reaped the benefits of Swasthya Sathi to pay the dues of around Rs 4,45,000.

The family members of the patient, Pranab Kumar Banik applied for Swasthya Sathi card and received it after he had died at the hospital.

Out of the total bill of Rs 6,25,000, the family members of the patient had been able to pay only Rs 1,80,000 during the release of the body. After January 2 when the patient died the family members applied for a Swasthya Sathi card and received it.

The family members of the deceased registered a complaint with the West Bengal Clinical Establishments Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) regarding the billing issues. They had outstanding dues of Rs 4,45,000.

The patient family members did not attend the hearing carried out by the WBCERC on Monday as the hospital has brought the case under the ambit of Swasthya Sathi case and would receive the dues from the state government under the Swasthya Sathi scheme.

WBCERC Chairperson Justice (Retired) Ashim Kumar Banerjee said this is a classical case to show how Swasthya Sathi scheme has turned savior for the population of Bengal.

The WBCERC has directed Desun Hospital to refund around Rs 2 lakh to the family members of a patient, Biplab Chatterjee (64) who died in the hospital on August 8 last year after undergoing treatment for nine days.

The Hospital has charged the patient Rs 5.88 lakh which the Commission found exorbitant

The hospital authorities have been asked to refund the amount in two installments.

The Commission has also directed AMRI Hospital in Dhakuria to provide a discount of Rs 3 lakh to the family members of Suresh Kumar Gupta (68) a resident of CIT road.

The patient was admitted with hypertension, diabetes and Covid. The hospital had prepared a bill of Rs 13 lakh out of which Rs 10 lakh were paid. The hospital authorities were asking for Rs 1.5 lakh more.

The WBCERC has also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the Woodlands Hospital as it forced a patient to leave the hospital as soon as he had tested Covid positive.

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