At a time when there are allegations of exorbitant billing for treatment of Covid-19 patients against a section of private healthcare providers the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) issued yet another advisory today to streamline the system of advance money deposited to hospitals during the admission of corona-affected persons.
WBCERC directed private hospitals not to take more than Rs 50,000 as advance money or 20 percent of the estimated cost of treatment ( whichever is lower) during the process related to admissions.
The private hospitals will have to give 12 hours to the patient party if they can’t arrange the amount at the time of the patient’s admission.
The patient must be admitted to the hospital on an emergency basis even if the money is not paid within the stipulated time.
The hospital management may discharge the patient if the money is not paid within a maximum of 13 hours since admission, the commission headed by retired judge Ashim Kumar Banerjee directed.
Hospital management will have to inform the patient party about the reasons for doing repeated pathological and other clinical investigations, the commission directed.
Hardly, one week ago the WBCERC had also issued some advisories to private hospitals not to charge an OPD patient more than Rs 150 for Covid gear and laboratories collecting swab samples from home should not demand any extra payment other than a conveyance fee of Rs 15 a kilometre.
The commission also said private hospitals should not charge separately for sanitisers and other protective gear.
The costs of these items should be included in the PPE cost that the government has capped at Rs 1,000 per indoor patient per day.
If there are more patients in the queue than the number of vacant beds, the commission wants the doctor-on- duty to decide who will be admitted, based on the condition of the patients.
“The clinical establishment would be entitled to charge a sum of Rs 50 only as ‘Covid Protection Charges’ that would include sanitiser, mask etc… each patient would be entitled to one companion only and in such case, the patient would be charged an additional amount of Rs 50… in case the consultant physician is in full PPE uniform… the clinical establishment would be entitled to a further amount of Rs 50,” an advisory stated.
Accident victim ferried to hospital in cycle van: A 14-year-old road accident victim got admitted to a government hospital after an agonising 12-hour wait since Friday night for his emergency medical treatment.
Finally, he was taken to the trauma care unit at R G Kar Medical College Hospital today in a cycle-van as no ambulance was available because of the lockdown exercise implemented by the across the state.
Kartik Sardar met with an accident around 8 p.m. on Friday when a speeding two-wheeler dashed into him in front of the Mahajati Sadan along C R Avenue in the Girish Park area.
The boy fell on the ground and some youths of a local club rushed him to the NRS Medical College Hospital.