New Bill In WB Assembly To Prevent Patient Harassment On Friday

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Kolkata: The West Bengal government is all set to move a new Bill in the state Assembly tomorrow aimed at preventing harassment of patients and their relatives during treatment at hospitals.

“The West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Bill, 2017 is scheduled to be placed before the House tomorrow for introduction, discussion and passing,” Speaker Biman Banerjee told PTI here today.

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Concerned over allegations of medical negligence and excessive charging following the death of a patient at the Apollo Gleneagles Hospital last week and several such incidents, the Chief Minister thought the existing West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 should be replaced with a new Bill to ensure transparent functioning of clinical establishments, particularly private hospitals and nursing homes.

The Chief Minister, also the state health minister, during a meeting with representatives of private hospitals last week, had said healthcare service was “not a commercial proposition and only a service or seva” and that healthcare service should be delivered to recipients with humility.

State government officials said the provisions of the new Bill would ensure proper treatment of patients within reasonable and legitimate expenses and protect them from unnecessary harassment.

Besides making registration and licensing procedures more stringent, the new Bill would have penal provisions against violation of laid down procedures.

Penal provision would also be there against lapses on the part of clinical establishments and doctors involved in it, they said.

Provisions would also be there to set up a West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission by the state government for regulation and supervision of the functioning and activities of clinical establishments, the officials added.

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