Bengal government to summon private hospital managements post-complaints

Kolkata, Feb 16 (IANS) The West Bengal government has decided to summon the managements of private hospitals later this month following repeated complaints about huge bills and charges, and fleecing of patients in various other ways, a minister said here on Thursday.

State Consumer Affairs Minister Sadhan Pandey said the meeting is likely to be held any day after February 20.

“The private hospitals are doing something abnormal. I feel they should be called. I will summon the in-charges of private hospitals in the interest of consumers,” Pandey told media persons here.

The announcement comes a day after relatives of a patient and locals ransacked the CMRI Hospital accusing it of wrong treatment and demanding money without taking care of critical patients.

There have also been regular complaints about hospitals carrying out unnecessary tests to jack up bills and levying exhorbitant charges.

“I will hold discussions with them. I will ask them about their huge bills and charges. They are finalising a package and then imposing extra charges on them. Patients are being put in ICU and on ventilators (unnecessarily),” he said.

The minister averred that the private hospitals needed to be told they could not continue their business “in an erratic way”.

“They have to be told frankly they cannot continue like this. It is not like any other business. This business involves public service. Some of them have taken land from the government promising to give concessions. If they work in an erratic way and put people in trouble that’s not proper,” Pandey said.

Asked whether the government would take any action with regard to the allegations against CMRI, the minister replied: “I am calling the meeting suo motu. But if the patient party lodges a complaint I will take steps.”

–IANS

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