Kolkata, Feb 28: Broadening her sweep against malpractices in private hospitals in and around the city, Mamata Banerjee will focus on the district private hospitals and nursing homes where complaints of overcharging patients are rampant.
The West Bengal chief minister would talk to the authorities of private hospitals and nursing homes in the districts during her periodic visits, state secretariat sources said on Tuesday. Banerjee held meetings last week with representatives of private hospitals and nursing homes located in and around the city in a bid to redress frequent complaints of inflated bills, forced admission in ICUs, negligence in treatment and others.
Similar complaints against private hospitals and nursing homes operating in the districts have been poring in at the health department for a long time and the chief minister has decided to take a firm stand, a senior officer at the department said.
Yesterday, Banerjee said that nursing homes and private hospitals cannot be turned into places of business and "kasaikhana" (slaughter house). She said the private health facilities should not "ignore" poor patients and serve them with a smile.
Banerjee had announced setting up 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.