19 decimal private land with a House
at Sabitri Ghising Road, Bong Busty Kalimpong.
Single storied house has 3 Bedrooms,
Living room, Kitchen & Dining room,
3 Bathroom-cum-toilets
Contact: thulungakrai@gmail.com
or 9434131719

1 Jun 2017

Moods of Mamata: Smile for schools VS scowl for hospitals

TT, 31 May 2017, Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee today surprised those who had apprehended a tongue-lashing for educational institutes on the topic of “tuition fees and donations”, just as representatives of private hospitals had faced during the February 22 meeting with her. Town Hall, the venue of both meetings, saw the chief minister take a conciliatory approach, quite unlike what she had told private hospitals while discussing allegations about excessive billing and negligence in medical treatment. Metro captures the contrast between the two meetings.
Chief minister Mamata today repeatedly asked representatives of private educational institutes for suggestions. The first one came from Fr. Felix Raj, the principal of St. Xavier’s College. He said it was important to be rational, justifiable and transparent. 
“Definitely we will take your suggestions seriously, but we will have to be rational and justifiable and transparent to the people, especially to the students and the parents,” the principal said.
He said that was the reason why St. Xavier’s had displayed the fee structure on its website.
Mamata called Felix Raj’s suggestions “good” and repeated what he had said. “We have to be rational and transparent, and the fee structure should be on the website so that everybody can understand it.” 
At the meeting with representatives of private hospitals more than three months ago, Mamata had been unsparing. She started off with a volley of allegations against private hospitals, likening a section of them to “slaughterhouses”.
“I am not saying you make losses and provide treatment. But if your profit is 20 per cent and you try to increase it to 100 per cent, then these will become slaughterhouses,” she had said. 
Mamata then rolled out the allegations: lack of transparency and coordination, inflated bills, same medicines billed twice despite no treatment and putting patients in the ICU or on ventilation even if not medically required. 
“Why so many (diagnostic) tests?” the chief minister asked. 
She said that even for a simple stomach upset, some private hospitals were “getting tests done from head to toe”.
“Patients and their families are dying. They have to sell everything,” she told the hospital officials who attended the meeting. “In many cases, the government had given land to hospitals but even then they do not help patients,” Mamata 

The chief minister conceded that there could not be a uniform fee structure for all institutes because each had different standards in infrastructure and education. 
Prabir Roy of The Heritage Group of Institutions had pointed out that an institute of international standard would seek to attract students from even other countries and its cost structure could hence be different, especially to pay salaries to good teachers. 
He suggested that the state government could have “a system of assessing what such institutes are delivering, the standard they are maintaining and the cost of maintaining those levels”. 
Chief minister Mamata called it a “correct point…a valid point”. 
Mamata had argued before officials of private hospitals that Calcutta could not be compared with cities like Mumbai and Chennai. “Mumbai, the financial capital, and Chennai…. What they can afford, we cannot afford. The amount demanded in Mumbai and Delhi cannot be asked for in Calcutta. Can we have a Rs 40 lunch there? We cannot. So it is not fair to compare us with others,” she said. 
Asked by Mamata why bills for treatment at Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals were high, CEO Rana Dasgupta had said: “We have expensive equipment like those for robotic surgery, PET CT Scan machines and for radiotherapy. We believe in cutting-edge technology and high clinical standards. So our expenses go up. To save patients, we have to give expensive medicines.”
The chief minister replied: “The norm is that after buying expensive machines, a hospital is burdened for one to two years. But you slowly make up for the expenses. Set up budget hospitals for poor people.” 

Mamata steered clear of the suggestion from some quarters to set up a body to assess the “learning outcome” in private primary, secondary and higher secondary institutes. “We cannot go to private institutes (to do this) because we do not want to interfere,” she said.
At the meeting with hospital representatives, the chief minister had declared that the clinical establishments act would be made stronger. She also announced her decision to set up the West Bengal Health Regulatory Commission to look into complaints of medical negligence and vest it with the power to slap fines or suggest other actions against private health care units.
The chief minister did not impose; she instead asked representatives of private schools to decide whether they wanted a regulatory commission or a self-regulatory commission. 
Self-regulatory commission it was. And decided by a show of hands. 
Mamata even clarified the role of the commission. “You will yourself form a self-regulatory commission with people of your choice. The commission will meet from time to time, check the balance sheets and work with a rational attitude to ensure that there is no misuse of the system of taking donations.” 
The self-regulatory commission would comprise 15 members, of whom only three would be from the government. 
The idea of self-regulation commission was never mentioned. There was no vote. Mamata announced at the meeting that the West Bengal Health Regulatory Commission would be headed by a high court judge and have nine members, including government doctors and officials. 
The chief minister did raise specific complaints against some schools regarding their annual hike in fees, but almost in the same breath applauded them too. She congratulated several schools for their academic results and the quality of their education.
Mamata had started the meeting by saying: “We keep getting complaints.... We had surveyed 942 hospitals and 70 were issued show-cause notices. The licences of 33 have been cancelled.”
She added: “Service cannot be purchased. There is a huge difference between the real estate industry and the life-saving industry…A Bangladeshi national told me that they would not send patients here anymore because of overbilling…. Hospitals are billing Rs 30 lakh-40 lakh. There is no transparency.” 

Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl

0 comments: on "Moods of Mamata: Smile for schools VS scowl for hospitals"

Post a Comment

Kalimpong News is a non-profit online News of Kalimpong Press Club managed by KalimNews. It is published simultaneously in this site as well as http://kalimpongnews.net.
Please be decent while commenting and register yourself with your email id. Your id will be kept secret, as far as practicable.

Popular Posts