The state government is engaging private caterers to supply “quality” diet for patients in hospitals from Friday. Patients will have to pay separately for the facility. Earlier, it would be included in the admission charges.
After hiking admission charges in May, the government is making patients in hospitals pay for “quality diet with nutritive value”. Director of medical education Chittaranjan Maity said on Thursday: “This is part of our effort to improve the healthcare management across the state and make it more patient-friendly.” Only “indoor” patients undergoing treatment will be charged.
According to Maity, patients over eight will be charged Rs 14 each for four meals a day, including breakfast and afternoon tea with biscuits. Children below eight will be charged half that amount. “The charges are inevitable if quality food is to be provided,” he maintained.
Superintendent Kusum Adhikari of Medical College and Hospital said private contractors have already taken charge of the kitchen and discussed with him the diet chart. Patients will get fish five days a week and chicken twice. Earlier, they used to get fish for four days and eggs for the remaining three days for dinner only. Besides, the menu will change every day.
The Calcutta chapter of the Indian Medical Association and members of the SUCI-controlled Haspatal-O-Janaswasthya Raksha Committee have protested the move.