The KMC board chairman and state urban development and municipal affairs minister, Firhad Hakim today said any private hospital refusing to recognize the Swasth Saathi card, will risk their licenses getting cancelled on the basis of a complaint, lodged using the toll free number at the back of the card.
While addressing a Duare Sarkar programme at Nawab Ali Park in ward 78 in Kidderpore today, Hakim said, “The Swasth Saathi card is freedom from all the hassles that citizens underwent earlier for treatment in private hospitals.The first thought that plagued common people was how they will bear the expenses of the treatment. With chief minister Mamata Banerjee having announced the scheme for all, now every person will get health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh regardless of which hospital they choose for treatment.”
The minister pointed out, “If any person is denied treatment by any private hospital which chooses not to recognize the Swasth Saathi card, the aggrieved party can use the toll free number at the back of the card to lodge a complaint which subsequently could lead to cancellation of the hospital’s license by the state health commission.”
Terming Centre’s Ayushman Bharat health scheme as “insignificant” to Bengal, Hakim said, “The Centre has introduced Ayushman Bharat scheme, offering medical treatment at rates similar to that of government hospitals in most states outside West Bengal. In Bengal, the state government has anyway made treatment free at government hospitals. Hence, the Centre’s scheme holds no purpose in this state.”
Meanwhile, Swapan Samaddar, outgoing KMC councillor and chairman of Beleghata ID hospital’s Rogi Kalyan Samiti, confirmed that 100 more beds for Covid patients have been increased in the hospital to cater to the load. The augmentation took the total number of beds to 215 out of which 50 have been designated for the high dependency unit (HDU) in the hospital and 25 of these are already functional.
Additionally, the KMC has set up four new electric furnaces at the Dhapa crematorium for incinerating Covid dead bodies. These are expected to reduce load at the Nimtala and Birjuntala crematoriums.