Millennium Post

Govt to review WBCERC's gradation of hospitals

Kolkata: Bengal government would soon review the recommendations of the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) on categorising the private hospitals and nursing homes in the state into three groups, on the basis of their infrastructure and some guidelines may be issued to the hospital authorities on the tariff rates of these hospitals in various disciplines.
The main objective is to impose some regulations on the fee structure of the hospitals. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, during her meeting with the private hospital authorities in February 2017, touched upon the issue of the tariff rates of the hospitals.
The Regulatory Commission has prepared a draft containing the list of private hospitals, their infrastructure and the amount they charge in each discipline. It would soon be submitted to the state Health department, which will take the decision on the free structure of the hospitals, depending upon the services they provide to the patients.
Opinions would be sought from the private hospital authorities in this regard. State government sources said private healthcare units would be graded for fixing the tariff rates.
One of the top Health department officials in the state on Monday told Millennium Post: "We would review the recommendations submitted by the WBCERC, on the basis of which the private hospitals and nursing homes would be divided into three categories. The department would also examine the fee structure of these hospitals and take a decision in this regard."
According to the official, private hospitals having health infrastructure and facilities similar to a state-run medical college, would belong to Level I. The private hospitals consistently performing various critical surgeries of heart, kidney etc and dealing in various other disciplines, will fall under Level II.
The level III hospitals would be those which are capable of conducting comparatively less important surgeries.
"The gradation will make it simpler to fix treatment costs according to infrastructure, quality of nurses and other factors," said the Health department official.
The Chief Executive Officer of a private hospital in the city, who did not want to be named, said it is to be seen how the state government restructures the charges of the hospitals, while a senior official of another hospital said that fixing of rates should be done after taking the treatment costs into account.
As per the draft, the commission can undertake surprise inspections to examine and ascertain strict compliance by clinical establishments with provisions of the act. According to lawyers, the commission's order cannot be challenged in a civil court. However, appeals can be filed in the high court by the private hospital authorities.
According to sources, multi-speciality hospitals can find place in Level I, while the speciality hospitals may belong to Level II. The hospitals with uni-speciality may fall in Level III. Type and size of diagnostic centre, infrastructure of diagnostic Labs and outpatient clinics will all come into consideration.

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