Clinical Establishment Bill passed in Assembly

Kolkata
3 Mar 2017

The West Bengal Clinical Establishment, Regulation and Transparency Bill - 2017, that is aimed at reining in private hospitals which are often accused of harassing, was today passed by the state Assembly.

Presenting the bill in Bengal Assembly, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “This Bill aims to bring transparency, ending harassment of patients and taking steps to stop medical negligence.” It may be mentioned that on February 22, the chief minister had conducted a meeting with representatives of various private hospitals and nursing homes in Kolkata. In the meeting she had announced the formation of a regulatory commission for private hospitals. She also informed the house that the Health department conducted a survey for one year before bringing this Bill.

The Bill has several provisions, including, punitive action like imposition of fine up to Rs 10 lakh for death due to negligence, Rs 5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh on the quantum of medical negligence causing permanent damage to a patient, and that  private hospitals cannot refuse admission and treatment to an affected person in an acid attack,  accident, and rape even if they cannot afford cost for treatment. ''Stop unnecessary various tests, a common feature in the private hospitals for making hefty billings and do not cross fund limit for a packaged medical facility,'' according to the 25-page Bill. The bill also envisaged setting a medical commission, which would oversee the activity of private hospitals.

“Some hospitals are overcharging patients, making exaggerated bills. The greed is crossing all limits…,” Mamata said, while presenting the Bill and added that she has noticed that “some hospitals are taking PAN cards and FD papers of patients. We never heard of things like this.” she said.