Private Hospitals in WB cannot charge for followup Consultation for 15 days post primary consultation, says new order
Kolkata: In a major decision, the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) has directed the hospitals that no extra consultation charge will be levied for the period upto 15 days from the date of primary consultation for showing test reports prescribed by the doctor in Outpatient department (OPD).This came after the commission noted that OPD patients in...
Kolkata: In a major decision, the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) has directed the hospitals that no extra consultation charge will be levied for the period upto 15 days from the date of primary consultation for showing test reports prescribed by the doctor in Outpatient department (OPD).
This came after the commission noted that OPD patients in Clinical Establishments previously used to get 7 (seven) days time to show the report/results of the investigations to the consultant / treating doctor, noting that this was unfair on the patients.
"If a patient failed to come back with reports as prescribed by the doctor within 7 days, the patient had to pay full consultation fees for showing the test reports or results of the investigations to the doctor from the eighth day," the commission noted
"We have issued advisory no. 33 as we have noticed that though previously there was no charge for consultation of test results prescribed by the doctor, some of the private hospitals are now charging the full consultation fee if the patient do not come back to show the reports within 7 days. There was a complaint regarding the matter on 27.02.2023 and the committee noticed that in many cases, especially cases with multiple investigations and tests, it may take some time to undergo tests and to receive the results," explained Retired judge Ashim Banerjee, chairperson of WBCERC.
He further added, "This duration is very short. In many cases, the reports are not available and the patient party has to make payment of second consultation fees just to show the reports/results of the investigations. Hence, we found it reasonable to give the patient atleast 15 days to come back for the consultation."
The committee has now decided that a patient party can show the reports /results of the investigations prescribed by the doctor within a period of 15 days without paying any additional consultation charge.
While allowing extension of time for test result consultation, in the advisory WBCERC has also stated, "However, this will not preclude the Clinical Establishments from requesting the patient party to show the report/ results of the investigations to the Consultant/doctor as early as possible when it is available in the interest of timely treatment of the patient."
Sanchari Chattopadhyay has pursued her M.A in English and Culture Studies from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal. She likes observing cultural specificities and exploring new places.