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Apollo Hospital official meets Mamata, to make amends

IANS | Kolkata |

Amid allegations of medical negligence and fleecing of patients, the Apollo Gleneagles Hospital authority on Monday promised West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to rationalise tariffs if needed and admitted its level of care has deteriorated.

"I think from the past one and half year, the level of care has not been what it had been. If we have to rationalise our tariffs, we are quite happy to do it," Apollo Hospitals Group vice chairperson Preetha Reddy told the media after the meeting.

Reddy promised to work with the regulatory commission set up by the state government to monitor private hospitals.

"The Chief Minister has set up a commission. We will be working with them. The CM was extremely gracious and pointed out certain facts, which I think is something all hospitals have to look into. And patients have to be treated well.

"Patients coming to the Emergency have to be given the level of care which they need," she said.

Reddy pointed out that the hospital had treated almost nine million people from the state and would continue to do so.

Apollo Gleaneagles is facing a police probe following the death of Sanjoy Roy, a resident of Dankuni in Hooghly district who was critically injured in a road accident. 

Roy died on February 23 at the state-run SSKM Hospital after being shifted from Apollo.

Later, his relatives and friends accused Apollo of "inadequate treatment" even while raising a huge bill and refusing to allow him to be shifted to SSKM unless they paid up the full amount. 

They alleged the hospital delayed his discharge and relented only after they submitted fixed deposit certificates.

A six-member health department team set up to probe the allegations against the leading private city hospitals found "overall negligence" and multiple other anomalies like improper billing, multiple charges and evidence of not following proper medical procedure during treatment.

Police have so far questioned a number of doctors and senior officials of the hospital in connection with the death.

During a meeting with representatives of private hospitals and nursing homes last month, the Chief Minister said that the most allegations, particularly related to exhorbitant charges, were against Apollo.