Pune: Covid-19 pandemic has taught us multiple lessons, but have we learnt one? Well, the question was raised when a survey done in three cities Pune, Nashik and Sangli revealed that the rights of patients at various public, private and trust owned hospitals are grossly violated.
It includes detaining of the patients failing to clear the medical bills, not displaying compulsory charters like Patients charter, Charges and absence of grievance forum.
Survey Conducted in 3 Cities
These violations were revealed after NGO Sathi and Rugna Haka Parishad (Patient’s Right Campaign) conducted a survey in three cities.
Talking about it Dr Abhay Shukla of Sathi said, “State government had brought in changes in Maharashtra Nursing Home Registration Act 1949 after there were complaints of patients being financially harassed during the epidemic.
These changes made it compulsory for the hospitals (public, private or trust owned) to display the charges of operation theatre, room, doctors visit etc among others. Similarly, there must be a Grievance redressal system available at hospitals (in every city and district) and within 24 hours the grievances must be addressed to. But all of these and many others are still not implemented in many hospitals”, informed Dr Shukla.
“Few of the hospitals have displayed it, but either in a mild or diluted way. No hospital can detain a dead body over payment nor can it prevent a living patient from moving on. Under the right to emergency a hospital must attend to the patient before the payment of money”, he added.
Considering all these violations we thought of carrying out a survey about “What is the status after the epidemic? And the situation is still alarming, said the doctor adding that initially we conducted the survey in three cities Pune (40) Nashik (30) and SAngli (30) hospitals.
Key findings of the survey
· Among the 40 hospitals surveyed in Pune, 39 of them were aware of the fact of patients’ rights directed by the Central and State Government, while all the 40 hospitals knew that the charges must be displayed prominently
· The Patients Right Charter was displayed by only two hospitals, while the charges (15 types as per the law) was displayed by three hospitals only
· Only two hospitals among the 40 surveyed had displayed the patients right charter
· Thirty hospital had displayed the patients right charter as per NABH but was mismatched with the government rules
· Only 15 hospitals had displayed the charges of Bed/ward, laboratory and ignored other charges
· Twelve hospitals had not mentioned any charges while eight hospitals had not displayed Patients right charter
· As many as 34 hospitals mentioned that they have not received any notice regarding the charges
Representatives from Municipal Corporation, Dr Manisha Naik, a Public Health Expert, Dr Abhay Shukla, Secretary of the Hospital Association, Manjusha Kulkarni, Dr Kishore Khilare, Kajal Jain of Masoom Sanstha, and Dr Dhananjaya Kaka was present. Vinod Shende and Shakuntala Bhalerao gave information about the survey.
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