AAP warns hospitals against overpricing, withholding bodies

  • Sidhartha Dutta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 06, 2014 11:03 IST

The Arvind Kejriwal-led government has put all hospitals in Delhi on notice by issuing a strict advisory on what they should and shouldn’t do to improve patient care.

The advisory directs hospitals, private and government, to provide “immediate medical care, without any delay to persons requiring emergency medical care, especially victims of crimes, road accidents, acid attack, sexual assault or critical patients”; to not hold bodies of deceased persons “under any circumstances” and to not delay processing of death certificates. It also asks doctors to use generic not brand names of medicines on prescriptions.

“Paid services, wherever deficient, will be qualified as deficient under Consumer Protection Act. Flouting of the directives mentioned in the advisory will lead to taking appropriate action against the concerned authority as per the rule of law,” said Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain.

The advisory also directs hospitals to stop forcing patients to buy drugs from in-house pharmacies.

For complaints, DGHS numbers will be clearly displayed in hospitals and a helpline number will be announced in a few days, Jain said.

Hospitals have also been told to clearly display fees for all services to avoid overcharging. Victims of sexual assault and acid attacks will be treated free.

Jain also announced the start of evening OPDs in 11 hospitals, centralised purchase of medical supplies, health cards for EWS patients and computerisation of government hospitals.

Doctors are not happy with the directive. “For poor patients, we handover the bodies of the deceased immediately, but ask others to pay the bills. We also have to think about running our hospital,” said Dr D S Rana, board chairman of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

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