On Friday, West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Bill, 2017″ in the Assembly to bring all the private hospitals, nursing homes and diagnostic centres under the ambit of state government. Mamata Banerjee had convened a meeting at Town Hall last week after patient party had vandalised Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) over harassment by hospital staffs. Banerjee had made it clear that such practices will not be tolerated. People have welcomed the new bill and feel this will help to voice their grievances. By Pallab Ghosh
On Friday today, Mamata Banerjee had tabled the much awaited bill,”West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Bill, 2017″ in the Assembly. It was during the meeting at Town Hall, the Bengal Chief Minister had informed, “the Regulatory Commission will have representatives of private hospitals, health department, consumer affairs department, doctors and police representatives”. At the same time the Chief Minister condemned the vandalism by patient`s party. “We condemn acts of vandalism in hospitals, but you must understand why people took to violence”, added Banerjee.
Last week after members of patient party had vandalised Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) over excess billing and harassment by hospital officials, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had convened a meeting at Town Hall which was attended by representatives from various private hospitals, nursing homes and diagnostic centres.
“apnara eto bill ki bhabe koren, eto bill to five-star hotel e thakleo hoina. chikitsha r naam e ei douratto bondho korun” (how do you make such an exorbitant bill, even five star hotels don`t make such bill. Please stop this anarchy in the name of treatment). It was during this meeting Mamata Banerjee had made it clear that such deliberative attempt to harass patients to an extent where the family members come to roads will not be tolerated in the state. Banerjee, had clearly indicated that soon a regulatory body will be introduced in the Assembly. “The West Bengal Health Regulatory Commission will have representatives of private hospitals, health department, consumer affairs department, doctors and police representatives,” said the chief minister.
The Bill has been termed as totally patient friendly and gives enough room to patients to voice their grievances. A large section of doctors have come forward and welcomed the bill. However, a small group of doctors have raised their suspicion on the transparency of the bill and said both the interest of patients and doctors should be looked at largely.
Let`s take a glance at the salient features of the new bill:
Private healthcare institutes cannot refuse admission and treatment in emergency cases Top priorities to patients suffering from acid attack, rape and accident victims.
Hospitals have been barred from prescribing “unnecessary” medical tests
The commission may also put the offender behind bars up to three years.
Permission of patient party before putting patient under ventilator.
Hospitals will have to declare bed charges, ICU charges.
Package costs that can`t be altered.
Hospitals will have to explain the need for further treatment.
Penal measures range between compensation and scrapping the licence.
Death of a patient due to medical negligence will attract a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh, and a fine of Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh depending on the damages