WBCERC Decisions: 3 hosptials fined for medical negligence, 1 nursing home for refusing patient
West Bengal: Cracking a whip on three private hospitals and a nursing home for denying to treat COVID patients and being negligent in patients' care, the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) has imposed fines on all these facilities including Fortis Hospital, Anandapur; All Asia Medical Institute in Gariahat; R Flemming Hospital in Topsia and Midland Nursing Home in Belghoria.
A sum of Rs 1 lakh has been levied on Fortis hospital, while the All Asia Medical Institute and R Fleming hospital has been directed to pay Rs 50000 each, further, the nursing home in Belgharia has been slapped a fined Rs 5 lakhs.
This came in wake of a batch of complaints moved with the state health regulatory commission by patients kin.
The Belgharia based Midland nursing home has been pulled in a case where the parents of an 18-year-old patient alleged in their complaint that the hospital did not attend to their son who was clearly struggling to breathe, rather they asked them to take him to a higher facility as they did not have treatment facilities for COVID victims in the hospital.
The patient was facing respiratory trouble hence he was taken to the ESI hospital Kamar Hati on July 10. However, he was transferred to the Belgharia based private hospital who ran rapid testing on the patient, and the patient was found to be COVID positive after which they allegedly refused to treat the patient, reports TOI.
Finding no solution, the parents rushed the patient to Calcutta Medical College, where he passed away within hours of admission.
On the other hand, the rest of the three hospitals have been fined in connection with a case where a seventy-eight-year-old resident of Rishra, Hoogly was allegedly denied admission and further received no assistance in his transfer.
Filling a complaint, the daughter of the patient alleged that his father was facing health issues following which the patient was rushed to the Fortis hospital but the hospital authority denied him admission. When the patient was taken to Fortis Hospital, he was suspected to be suffering from Covid-19. He tested positive for the disease at the Ekbalpore nursing home.
The hospital had justified their denial stating that no ICU beds were available for the patient after which the patient was taken to All Asia Medical Institute. The institute firstly assured to admit the patient, however, on reaching the hospital they too denied admission to the patient on the same ground.
Thereafter, the patient was then taken to R Flemming hospital in Topsia which accepted the patient but did not provide him an ICU facility in spite of his grave condition and informed the family members that he had to be kept in a general bed. The complainant alleged that the hospital did not pay due attention to the patient.
The Commission heard the case and gave its final judgment. It told the Fortis Hospital that they should have arranged an ICU at another hospital before transferring the patient. It found some negligence on the part of the other two hospitals as well, reports milleniumpost
In the first case, taking cognizance of the concerns, Justice Ashim Kumar Banerjee, the chairman of WBCERC criticized the act in the case of the nursing home and stated that "the nursing home should have stabilized the patient before sending it to a higher setup. The commission directs the nursing Home to deposit a sum of rupees 5 lacs with us within a week till the hearing is over." The commission also instructed the facility to deliver an affidavit explaining the incident.
Expressing the case pertinent to three private hospitals, Banerjee while considered the submission of the complainant criticized the hospitals for not ensuring the ICU facility for the patient and denying admission to him.
He told The Telegraph, "We told the hospital they should have made arrangements for the man's admission at another hospital if there was no ICU bed in their hospital. The hospital said they had tried to do so. But we felt the hospital could have done more."
Commenting on the matter, an official at Fortis told The Telegraph that "The patient was brought to the hospital around midnight and stayed at our emergency for three hours, during which time our doctors stabilized him. We arranged for an ambulance. We also inquired with neighboring hospitals but none had an ICU bed vacant…. We called up the family when an ICU bed became vacant in our hospital, but unfortunately, the person had passed away by then."
Meanwhile, an official of All Asia Medical Institute said they would appeal against the fine and informed a daily that "The complainant could not give any evidence. We don't have any record with us that shows that the patient had come to our hospital and refused admission. We had asked for some evidence so that we could inquire on our own, but the complainant was unable to give any evidence like call records or emergency unit records."