Medica asked to pay Rs 4L, Apollo Rs 5L as compensation

KOLKATA: The West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) has directed Medica Superspecialty Hospital to pay Rs 4 lakh after it found some irregularities on the part of the hospital. The hospital authorities have to deposit the amount with the Commission. The judgment was pronounced in connection with an incident in which family members of the deceased blamed the hospital for the death of the patient. The hospital authorities, however, denied the charges.

Dipika Saha, a resident of Nadia contacted the Medica hospital to check if there was any vacant bed as she wanted to shift her mother. Initially, the Medica hospital authorities told her that they did not have any vacant beds. The family members of the patient started off from Nadia with the patient in an ambulance fitted with oxygen support. The hospital meanwhile told the patient's family that they could accommodate the patient. The patient was finally taken to the hospital. The family members in their complaint alleged that oxygen support was removed when the patient was taken to the emergency and no oxygen support was established. The hospital authorities, however, told the Commission that the patient was attended inside the ambulance and she was found brought dead and the incident was recorded in the register of brought dead cases. The hospital has, however, failed to provide CCTV footage to the WBCERC. The hospital clarified saying that they do not keep records for a long time.

The WBCERC chairperson Justice (retired) Ashim Banerjee made his observation saying that the hospital should have preserved the CCTV footage as the deceased's family registered a complaint on the social media page of the hospital. Banerjee pointed out that the CCTV footage could have served as important evidence. The WBCERC has, therefore, asked to deposit the amount with the Commission. The amount would not be given to the family as they failed to produce any valid evidence which can directly prove that the hospital was responsible.

The WBCERC also asked Apollo Gleneagles Hospital to provide a compensation of total Rs 5 lakh in connection with three separate incidents. The hospital would pay Rs 2 lakh each to Ranbir Dhar and Jayanta Das whose patients died in the hospital while in another case it would provide Rs 1 lakh to a patient's family.

Meanwhile, the WBCERC has achieved another milestone by disposing off 21 cases in a single-day on Monday despite the challenges posed by torrential overnight rainfall. This is the highest number of daily hearings by the Commission so far.

"We had to change the venue of our virtual hearing as Tantuja Bhawan that houses our office went under water. Our office functioned and we have managed to dispose off 21 cases," Banerjee said.

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