Health Regulatory Commission addresses 584 cases this year

Health Regulatory Commission addresses 584 cases this year

Kolkata: The West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) has heard all the pending cases and pronounced judgment. Around 584 cases have been addressed by the Commission this year.

"We have no pending cases as of now as we have already heard all of them. The complaints which were registered with the Commission up to December 16 have been heard and the judgment delivered. The cases which will be registered after December 16 will be heard with the cases which will come up in January next year," said WBCERC Chairperson, Justice (retired) Ashim Banerjee.

After Monday's hearing, Banerjee has expressed dissatisfaction over excessive billing by some private hospitals which have not been following the guidelines and also the rate charts issued by the Commission. The Commission during Monday's hearing warned some of the hospitals against exorbitant billing and it also directed some of them to return money to the patients' relatives.

The WBCERC has directed Medica Superspecialty Hospital to return Rs 3 lakh to Gouri Ghosh, wife of Pradip Ghosh a former footballer who died in the hospital after being kept under ECMO support for 35 days. After going through the bills, the Commission found that the hospital charged the patient exorbitantly flouting the rate chart fixed by the Commission. The patient, a railway employee, was admitted to the hospital as a cash patient despite having a card under the Central government health scheme. Due to some emergency, the name of the patient could not be enrolled under the scheme. The family members spent nearly Rs 40 lakh by selling off all properties.

"The hospital had charged around Rs 43,000 per day for ECMO support. An X-Ray had been conducted on the patient on a daily basis at a cost of Rs 790 per day. Medica hospital has charged a bill of Rs 35 lakh.

The patient was initially admitted to Woodlands and then shifted to Medica which had provided a discount of Rs 2 lakh which was not enough. The hospital should consider the matter on humanitarian grounds. We have asked the hospital to return Rs 3 lakh," said Banerjee.

The WBCERC also asked R N Tagore Hospital to return Rs 50,000 to a patient's family members in addition to a discount of Rs 73,000 given by the hospital.

The Commission also warned the hospital as they charged the patient exorbitantly and high priced drugs were applied. The Commission has also observed that some hospitals have a tendency to apply high priced drugs. CMRI Hospital has been imposed a penalty of Rs 80,000 as it did not follow the rate charts fixed by the Commission.

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