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Health Commission directs Medica Superspecialty Hosp to deposit Rs 10L in CSR fund

Health Commission directs Medica Superspecialty Hosp to deposit Rs 10L in CSR fund
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Kolkata: West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) has directed the Medica Superspecialty Hospital authorities to deposit Rs 10 lakh on its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) account and utilize the funds for the malnourished children in a particular area of the city.

The WBCERC issued the order on Wednesday after it found that the Medica Superspecialty Hospital had collected money from the patients exorbitantly under the head of infection control charge at the outpatient department totally flouting the Covid advisory earlier issued by the Commission.

One Amitabha Chakraborty took his wife to the outpatient department of the hospital on October 15 when he was asked to pay Rs 250 per head but he readily refused saying that the WBCERC advisory says that one can be charged mostly Rs 50. The hospital did not listen to Chakraborty. The couple finally had paid Rs 250 per head whereas as per the Commission's Covid guideline says that hospitals can charge a patient at most Rs 50 on account of sanitization. The couple lodged the complaint with the Commission on the same day. During the hearing, the hospital authorities told the Commission that they intended to return the money but the patient refused to accept it. They also claimed that this happened because there was old programming in the system even after the new Covid advisory had been issued. As a result some patients were charged more at the OPDs. The hospital failed to provide the exact figure to the Commission as to how many people were charged Rs 250 per head for infection control.

WBCERC Chairperson Justice (retired) Ashim Kumar Banerjee said that they apprehend that lakhs of money were collected by the hospital on account of infection control charges even after the Covid protocol was issued on August 1. The hospital has been directed to prepare the list of the patients who were charged exorbitantly not keeping with the guideline. "We have not imposed any penalty on the hospital only because this was the first case. However, the hospital has been instructed to deposit Rs 10 lakh on it's CSR account and utilize them. We send a strong message to other hospitals as well," Banerjee said.

The Commission has also formed a committee with the principal of Lady Brabourne College Prof Siuli Sarkar, a member of the WBCERC Maitryee Banerjee and child specialist from the Institute of Child Health Dr Barnali Ghosh as members to look into the utilization of the funds for malnourished children.

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