Kin allege touts operating in private hosp, probe ordered

kolkata: West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) has directed the Additional District Magistrate (Health) in East Burdwan to conduct a thorough probe against Sharanya Multispecialty Hospital after a patient relative alleged that touts are being operated from the hospital and they fleece patients.

In another development, Commission said that in case of refusal patients and their family members can call at the toll free numbers mentioned on Swasthya Sathi cards. The number is 1800345-5384. People can also send WhatsApp messages to 9073313211/9513108383/8334902900/9830164286 stating their issues relating to Swasthya Sathi refusals.

After hearing the allegations against the private hospital in Burdwan, it appears before the WBCERC that some of the hospital doctors might have been involved in the incident.

The Commission has asked ADM (Health) to carry out a probe and the license of the private hospital would not be renewed till the probe is completed. "The allegations are very much serious in nature. The complainant has shared some details with us. We have also forwarded these details to the hospital. They said that they did not know about such an incident and they were shocked to hear that. We have asked ADM (Health) to conduct a thorough probe," said WBCERC Chairperson Justice (retired) Ashim Kumar Banerjee. It was learnt that one Subhadip Ghosh had admitted his father Sanat Kumar Ghosh to the hospital on September 8 as his potassium and sodium level dropped.

The patient also suffered urinary tract infection. The patient's family members wanted to admit the patient under the Swasthya Sathi scheme. But the hospital allegedly refused to do so saying that their bed charges are higher than what the government had sanctioned. The hospital has however claimed that the patient's family members did not turn up with a Swasthya Sathi card. The hospital also claimed that they kept the patient in HDU but did not charge for HDU.

Subhadip told the Commission that a vicious cycle has been involved in the hospital in fleecing patients. The doctors prescribe high end drugs and ask the patients' family members to buy them from outside hospitals. When the family members urge the doctors they are unable to buy expensive drugs, the doctors then suggest to the patients' family to talk to one Liyakat Ali who is the trolley boy of the hospital as he can arrange medicines at a lower rate. All the transactions and conversations between the patient party and Ali are done in a place where there is no CCTV.

WBCERC also directed the INK hospital in Mullickbazar to treat a patient who was initially refused treatment under Swasthya Sathi card.

The hospital told the Commission that the patient was requiring treatment of a disease which was not specified by the government under Swasthya Sathi scheme. The Commission directed the hospital to treat the patient under 'unspecified' disease.

The Commission imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 each on AMRI Dhakuria and on RN Tagore hospital for refusing treatment under Swasthya Sathi scheme. It has also asked Sterling Hospital to provide a discount of Rs 10,000 to the patient's family members.

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