The West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) has alerted private nursing homes in Siliguri over excess billing and patient care.
Addressing a symposium here today, the chairperson of the commission, Justice (retired) Ashim Banerjee, stressed on transparency on billing and proper patient care in private health facilities.
“You have to accept the advisory of the commission on the billing for treatment. We have received a lot of complaints. We are aware that in most of the cases people face problems at the doors of big or medium level hospitals.
Remove the word No and sensitise the front desk staff. The hidden cost is troublesome for the people. Services should be ensured for the people,” Mr Banerjee said, addressing representatives of nursing homes and pathological centres.
According to him, a medium-level nursing home in Siliguri had charged a Covid patient Rs 8.5 lakh for staying 20 days during the Covid period. “I had asked the nursing home authorities to return Rs 2.5 lakh. There was no justification for the bill,” Mr Banerjee said.
The commission, which is a regulatory body for private hospitals, was constituted on 17 March, 2017.
The commission has rejected two-third complaints in the last five tears, while one-third was recognised and compensation asked for in those cases.
“You should provide emergency treatment and counsel the patients, but you cannot refuse a critical patient. You are denying their admission citing bed crunch whenever they show the Swasthya Sathi cards,” Mr Banerjee added. He advised nursing homes to open a Grievance Redressal System.
Many representatives of private facilities left the venue at Uttarkanya when it was their turn to interact with the commission members, it is learnt. Five members of the commission, Dr Sukumar Mukherjee, Dr Makhanlal Saha, Dr Madhusudan Banerjee, Maitrayee Banerjee and Madhabi Das, also addressed the session. Darjeeling district chief medical officer of health Dr Tulsi Pramanik, and additional district magistrate, health, Prem Kumar Bardewa, were also present in the programme.