<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of allegations that Gurgaon-based Fortis Hospital billed the family of a dengue patient Rs 16 lakh, the Health Ministry on Thursday asked all states to issue strict warnings and take action against hospitals, including private ones, which indulge in malpractices such as overcharging and don’t follow standard treatment protocols.”I would like to draw your attention to the Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 under which effective action can be taken against such healthcare establishments indulging in fradulent/unethical practices.Moreover, there are provisions under other Acts, Rules and Regulations under which action can be contemplated against such activities,” stated the letter addressed by Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan to Chief Secretaries of all states and union territories.The Centre has advised that lessons be learnt from such incidents and a meeting with all important healthcare establishments (including private hospitals) of each states be taken and they be clearly sounded not to indulge in such practices failing which strict action will be taken.The letter points out that widespread adverse coverage of the alleged malpractices by various clinical establishments has occurred in recent past. These include exorbitant charges, deficiencies in service, not following standard treatment protocols resulting not only in compromised patient safety but also concerns about transparency and accountability in health care costs.Sudan said, “Such incidents have an extremely deleterious impact on faith of general public in healthcare system of the country. It is our duty to ensure that such incidents don’t recur, quality care and treatment is provided to persons in need and that it is provided at a fair and affordable price.”In deceased Adya’s case , Fortis billed her father Jayant Singh Rs 16 lakh in a fortnight. The case drew ire from all quarters and led the Union Health Ministry to institute an inquiry into the issue.
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