Towards better health, at 32, BBD Bagh

Over 100 complaints lodged, health commission ready to take wings
Report by: 
Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay
Kolkata
5 May 2017

The ramshackle, shabby staircases lead to a large hall on the third floor of the large white building at 32, BBD Bagh, that dates back to the Raj. Inside the hall there are a few people, sitting in a small cubicle at one corner, poring over heaps of documents.

Welcome to the office of the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission, set up by the state government on March 17 that is aimed at investigating into allegations of irregularities and negligence in private hospitals and take corrective actions.. The 13-member commission headed by Justice Ashim Kumar Roy of Calcutta High Court had its first meeting at Swasthya Bhavan at Bidhannagar on March 21. Since Justice Roy had not been able to join the commission as yet, it was Anil Kumar Verma, a senior IAS officer and vice-chairman of the commission, who presided over the meeting. The next meeting is scheduled to be held next week, according to sources. ``So far we have received about 100 complaints and more are coming,'' said an official, sitting in the cubicle, perspiring.

``People are filing complaints on-line, by post. Some are even coming over here to hand over their complaints. They are being scrutinised and decisions will be taken most probably at the next meeting,'' the official further said. Most of the complaints are related to overbilling while there are quite a few which are related to death because of negligence. ``We are still short staffed as about 45 more people are supposed to come. Once they come and we work out a mechanism on how allegations can be investigated and punitive actions and corrective measures can be taken, we can say the commission takes wing to mitigate the trauma and agony of countless people who or whose dear and near ones fell victim to medical negligence and irregularities,'' the official further said.

At present the employees have to bear with the searing heat and the pain in climbing up to the third floor office. ``But soon we are going down to the first floor where we are going get a swank office equipped with all gadgets,'' the official said. Members of the commission express hope that once the commission gets going with full strength, the problems will be sorted out and aggrieved people will get justice. ``We have just started. The ways of functioning of the commission are being worked out. Soon people will see results,'' Makhan Lal Saha, a renowned physician and a member of the commission told Echo of India.