Kolkata: A new bill named West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Bill, 2017 has been passed in West Bengal State Assembly on Friday. The bill seeks to monitor the private and government healthcare in the state.
Among the clauses of the bill, some are:
- Soon after admitting, treatment should be started. Diagnosis and release of corpse should not be stalled at any point over financial clearances.
- Transparency in the billing procedures, information regarding any overhead costs outside the mentioned package needs to be conveyed to the patient’s kin. Hospitals cannot charge more than the package.
- Hospital license will stand cancelled in case of negligent treatment. If it leads to death of the patient, fine of Rs 10 lakhs to be imposed on the concerning authorities, along with 3 years of imprisonment. Government hospitals are not exempted from this clause.
- The nursing homes and hospitals will have to compensate the patient’s family in case of irregularity.
- Hospitals cannot refuse immediate admission to victims of accident or in emergency cases. If patient needs to be put on ventilator, consent of concerning relatives is mandatory.
- Procedures like MRI, Scan, X-Ray, blood tests and even dialysis are provided at much lower cost.
- 16 mother and child hubs, 117 fair price medical shops will 70% discount to be inaugurated in the state soon to assist proper healthcare. Fair Price Diagnostic Centers and Dialysis Services have been set up at 46 State Run Facilities.
- We have increased number of beds by 27000. We provide healthcare for free in govt hospitals.We have set up 7 new health districts and 7 new medical colleges.
- Children receive free cardiac surgeries under Sishu Sathi scheme. We have started breast milk bank.
- This Bill aims at bringing transparency, ending harassment of patients and taking steps to stop medical negligence.
- Hospitals have to start e-prescriptions and keep online medical records.
- Hospitals must start Public Grievance Cell.
- Hospitals getting land from Govt must provide free treatment to 10% people.
- 13 member West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission, headed by a former High Court judge to be set up soon.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee thanking the Assembly said that this historic bill will prove to be a model for the entire country. Criticisms from opposition cannot hinder its progress. She warned of severe reprimand in case of grave negligence in proper treatment. Strict vigilance to be kept on billing issues. She referred to the Apollo case while her speech.
Health department conducted a survey for one year before bringing this Bill, she added. She criticised the fact that some hospitals are seeking PAN cards and FD papers of patients.
She insisted on ‘Treatment With Smile’ motto to prevent any erratic incident henceforth.