Day after a 60-year old Covid patient died while waiting in an ambulance outside a private hospital in Kolkata, the West Bengal health regulatory commission on Wednesday filed a suo-motu case against the hospital authorities.

The chairman of commission, Justice (retd) Ashim Kumar Bandopadhyay said that this was the first such case taken up on a suo-motu basis by the state health regulatory commission against any private hospital in Kolkata.

He said such an incident is unprecedented, inhumane and unfortunate. The case will be heard by the commission on August 19.

The commission has already asked for all necessary details of the Covid patient from her previous hospital.

The shocking incident took place at the Desun Hospital on the EM Bypass on Monday night. The patient’s party came from East Midnapore’s Tomluk. The deceased’s husband also died of Covid-19 last week.

The family members of the victim alleged that they were asked to deposit Rs 3 lakh for admitting the patient to the hospital. They immediately deposited Rs 80,000 and asked for an hour’s time to arrange the rest of the amount.

But the hospital authorities categorically told them that they would not be able to start treatment until and unless the full payment is made. Later, they did arrange for Rs 2 lakh and deposited the amount to the bank account but the patient died in the ambulance while waiting for treatment.

Despite repeated attempts, the hospital authorities refused to release any media statement on the issue.