Two Kolkata hospitals pulled up for overcharging& |  Photo Credit: PTI
Two private hospitals in Kolkata were on Friday pulled up for overcharging patients and asked by the state health regulator to refund the money. A private hospital, located off EM Bypass, was directed to refund Rs 65,478 after the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission found it to have charged the patient “exorbitantly” when he was admitted there for only 19 hours.
“The hospital had charged Rs 1,15,478 for treating a patient who was admitted there on August 22. The patient was admitted there for 19 hours when he tested negative for Covid-19. We have found that the hospital has charged him exorbitantly,” chairperson of the commission Justice (retd) Ashim Kumar Banerjee said.
“The charges of the tests conducted on him were more than the standard set by the state government. We have cautioned the hospital and asked them to refund Rs 65,478 which the patient party had paid while he was discharged,” he added.
The commission also cautioned and directed another private hospital in south Kolkata’s New Alipore area to refund Rs 50,000 to a COVID-19 patient who had lodged a complaint of overcharging.The patient was charged Rs 2,77,159 for treatment, out of which Rs 1,26,673 was met out of insurance and the rest was paid by him.
“We scrutinised and found that there was a violation of the state government circular and COVID-19 protocol. The charges for the doctors and the tests were not at par set by the state,” Justice Banerjee said.
“When pointed out, hospital authorities replied that they had charged the patient as per insurance agreement. Now, the hospital has agreed to refund Rs 50,000 to the patient party. We have cautioned the hospital too,” he said.
The hospitals could not be reached for their comments. The commission also heard a complaint against another hospital, which was allegedly not providing the pathological report of a patient who died while undergoing treatment.
“We have asked the hospital to send all medical reports in connection with the case. We will hear their affidavit also,” the chairperson said.
The regulator also heard a complaint relating to the death of a 17-year-old boy from Durgapur. His father, a government official, lodged the complaint of negligence against the Durgapur hospital.The commission asked the hospital concerned to deposit Rs 25,000 with it until any decision is reached on the matter.