Politics

Mamata lashes out at private hospitals again

Mamata lashes out at private hospitals again

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today again targeted private hospitals and nursing homes saying they cannot be turned into places of business and “kasaikhana” (abattoir).

She said the private health facilities should not “ignore” poor patients and serve them with a smile.

“I don’t disagree you have to look for money because you have invested here, but that does not mean that while trying to make profit you will turn the hospitals into abattoir (kasaikhana),” Banerjee said while inaugurating the second centre of Sankara Nethralaya at Rajarhat here.

The chief minister, however, said that all were not bad and acknowledged getting complaints against only a few.

Banerjee, who is also the health minister of the state, advised the hospital authorities to open fair price medicine shops and diagnostic centres.

“What has happened has happened. Let us start a new beginning… Take seven to 10 days’ time,” she said.

Last week she had announced setting up of the West Bengal Health Regulatory Commission, for which a bill is due to be tabled on March 3, to monitor complaints of inflated billing by private health facilities while severely criticising their wayward functioning.

At a meeting with the representatives of the private facilities, she had accused them of overcharging patients, negligence in treatment, keeping patients in ICUs and on ventilators for long periods without justification and not releasing bodies if the bills were not settled.