WBCERC orders probe on Avalon Hospital for violating COVID norms

The hospital reportedly violated COVID guidelines and charged a patient excessively.

The West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) has asked the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) in Darjeeling to conduct a thorough investigation on Avalon Hospital in Siliguri as it violated COVID-19 guidelines and charged a patient in excess.

The WBCERC also alerted the hospital, saying there will be disciplinary action if a similar incident happens. The CMOH will submit a report to the Commission based on their observation.

Kishore Tamang admitted his wife, Bijoya Rai, to the hospital on 22 May this year, which lasted for 20 days.

"The patient was charged $11,423.84 (Rs 8.34 lakh), which we found absurd. We have spotted many irregularities in the billing, as well as violations in our COVID guidelines. The hospital had charged $4,109.29 (Rs 3 lakh) for medicines, around $1,642.71 (Rs 1.20 lakh) for the doctor's bill, and up to $574.95 (Rs 42,000) for the pathology bill. However, the patient was not made aware of the details. We asked the CMOH to carry out a probe and submit a report," said WBCERC Chairperson Retired Justice Ashim Banerjee.

The Commission has also directed Health World Hospital in Durgapur to return $253.14 (Rs 18,492) in excess charges. Columbia Asia Hospital had to return $246.41 (Rs 18,000) to a patient in another incident.

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