3 Calcutta hospitals fined on 1 Covid patient
The state health regulatory commission has fined two private hospitals in Calcutta that did not admit a 78-year-old Covid patient and a third for not taking proper care of him after admission, the panel chairperson said on Wednesday.
Fortis Hospital, Anandapur, has been fined Rs 1 lakh for not admitting the patient in their intensive care unit (ICU) and for not making arrangements for his admission in any other hospital. All Asia Medical Institute in Gariahat has been fined Rs 50,000.
The patient’s daughter took him to the Gariahat hospital after she was pro-mised admission, but on reaching there they were apparently told no bed was available.
The third hospital — R Flemming Hospital in Topsia — did not take proper care of the man after admitting him, said retired judge Ashim Kumar Banerjee, the chairperson of the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission.
The patient, a resident of Hooghly’s Rishra, passed away on July 7 at a nursing home in Ekbalpore, where the family shifted him after they allegedly found that he was not getting proper care at R Flemming Hospital. He was taken to Fortis Hospital on July 3.
“The man’s daughter lodged a complaint saying her father needed admission in the ICU but Fortis Hospital turned him away. During the hearing, the hospital said there was no bed available at the ICU,” said Banerjee.
“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,” the chairperson said.
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.
An official at Fortis said: “The patient was brought to the hospital around midnight and stayed at our emergency for three hours, during which time our doctors stabilised him. We arranged for an ambulance. We also inquired with neighbouring 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,” he said.
The Covid victim’s daughter told the commission that the family had called up many hospitals in the city. They either did not take calls or said they had no vacant beds.
All Asia Medical Institute had promised admission but when the family took the elderly man there, the hospital refused admission.
“We asked the hospital why the person who answered the call said a bed was available when no beds were vacant. We have fined them Rs 50,000,” the chairperson said.
An official of All Asia Medical Institute said they would appeal against the fine.
“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,” said an official of the hospital.
The patient was admitted to R Flemming Hospital after being refused admission in other places, the daughter told the commission.
“But when she went to the hospital to see her father about three hours later, she found he was not receiving proper care. We have fined Flemming Hospital Rs 50,000 for their negligence,” the retired judge said.
This newspaper called the phone number of the hospital mentioned on its website but none answered.
The commission fined ILS, Dum Dum, Rs 1 lakh for assigning a wrong blood group to a newborn. The hospital, where the baby was born, said her blood group was O positive. Later, before a surgery at another hospital, her blood group was found to be O negative.
This newspaper called the number mentioned on the hospital’s website. The person who answered the call refused to comment.