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If patient dies while shifting hospitals, departing hosp must issue death cert

Kolkata: State Health department has issued an order saying that if a patient is transferred from a private hospital to a government-run establishment and he/she dies on the way, the previous hospital is bound to issue a death certificate.

The Health department has come up with the decision after it found some instances where the family members of the deceased had to face harassment.

During the Covid period, the family members of the deceased patients had faced difficulties to receive death certificates from the hospital after the patient died while on the transit. Many family members had to shift their patients from the private establishments to a government hospital after failing to bear the cost.

In a recent notification, the Health department said: "It has been observed during Covid pandemic situations, there is an acute crisis of ICU/CCU beds. Often the patients who are admitted in ICU facilities of private hospitals are likely to be shifted to the government designated Covid hospitals due to their financial crisis. The problem arises if any patient unfortunately expires during shifting within the ambulance before arrival to the government designated Covid hospitals. Very recently the admission cell as well as the patient parties had to face problems."

The order also says: "As per section 10 (3) of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 the medical practitioner who attended the patient during his/her last illness shall, after the death of that person, issue without charging any fee, to the person required under this Act to give information concerning the death; a certificate in the prescribed form stating to the best of his knowledge and belief to the cause of death should be issued by the doctors/authorities of the health institutions where from the patients had been

discharged.

The Act is applicable for all kinds of patients in the CCU/ICU/non-ICU/non-CCU etc. Hence it is further to be reminded to all the private health institutions to avoid any kind of harassment to the patient parties. All the private health establishments have been asked to strictly follow the instruction in this regard.

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