Govt Not Satisfied With Apollo’s Reply: WB Health Secretary

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Kolkata: West Bengal health secretary R S Shukla on Saturday said the department was not satisfied with the reply of Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, which has courted controversy for allegedly refusing to release a patient without settling his dues.

“We are not satisfied with the reply of the hospital. We feel that the case could have been handled in a better way,” Shukla told reporters after his meeting with the officials of the hospital, who were summoned.

Sanjoy Roy, who was admitted to the hospital on February 16 after a road accident died at the state-run SSKM hospital where he was shifted. “The incident could have been avoided with more appropriate steps,” he said adding “We have asked them (hospital officials) to appear before us with more documents in support of their explanations.”

Shukla also criticised the hospital authority for taking fixed deposit papers from the patient party. “The hospital authority can’t take FD papers from patient party.” The hospital authority had yesterday said the patient’s relatives had given the FD papers to it. “We never asked for it.”

State Health Services Director Biswaranjan Satpathy said “Comparatively much less expensive and simple method of treatment could have saved the youth’s life.” The Health Department officials later submitted their report to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The issue has sparked controversies following death of the patient. Family members of Roy, who was admitted to the hospital on February 16 after a road accident, have alleged that the hospital authorities refused to release him unless dues were settled and the delay to shift him caused his death.

“The bill for his treatment ran into nearly Rs eight lakh and we wanted to shift him to the state-run SSKM hospital as we managed to get a bed there. We pleaded with the (private) hospital authorities to release the patient but they had insisted on the payment first,” a family member had said.

The hospital authority, however, denied the allegation and said the patient’s relatives confirmed at 7 p.m that they have got a bed in the government hospital. “We had agreed (to release Roy). Subsequently, we had taken the patient in our ambulance with doctors and continued his treatment till he was put in that hospital’s bed.”

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Wednesday warned private hospitals against over-charging patients and negligence in treatment and announced setting up of a regulatory commission to monitor their functioning.

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