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WBCERC asks private hospitals not to levy 'hidden' costs on patients

Kolkata: The West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) has issued instructions to the private hospital authorities asking them not to impose the burden of any hidden cost on patients.
The directives have been issued after the WBCERC during its investigation found out that some private hospitals do levy extra charges on the patients.
The WBCERC will take strong action against private hospitals which will be found to be flouting instructions.
It was also learnt that some hospitals in the city have owned up their mistakes and told the commission that their mistakes would not repeat. According to a senior official, apart from charging patients with some hidden costs, medical negligence was found on the part of the private hospitals.
It was also learnt that some hospital authorities have agreed to provide corrective treatment at free of cost.
There were complaints with the WBCERC on inflated bills. It was often alleged that the hidden costs were not mentioned in the bill arising confusion among the patient's family members. The commission has been chalking out an elaborate plan to curb the practice.
On Friday, the health panel directed a private clinic in Bansdroni to pay a compensation of Rs 20,000 to a victim within two months after the investigation revealed that there were lapses on the hospital's part during his treatment.
It was learnt that around 173 cases have been registered with the WBCERC many of which have already been resolved by the health panel.
It was also learnt that the private clinic failed to detect a kidney stone in the patient during a USG.
The patient was originally from Bihar. The commission has come to know in the investigation that stone was there in the patient when the USG was performed by the private clinic.
In another 10 cases, private hospitals have been fined so far in past one year by the WBCERC for their negligence in treatment.
The Chief Minister proposed to set up a health regulatory commission after she held a meeting with the private hospital authorities in February last year.
It may be mentioned here that the state government has a plan to categorise the private hospitals into three categories on the basis of their infrastructure. Some guidelines will also be issued to the hospital authorities based 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.
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