By A Newsman
Kolkata, 20 March: APOLLO Hospitals group will rationalise the treatment costs at its Kolkata unit to address the allegation that hospitalisation charges collected from patients are often higher than the tariff of five-star hotels.
The decision was revealed by the Chennai-headquartered healthcare giant’s executive vice chairperson Preetha Reddy after an hour-long meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at state secretariat Nabanna today afternoon. The meeting was attended by two senior officials of the group, and state health secretary Rs Shukla.
Speaking to news-persons, Reddy also admitted that the “level of healthcare” at its Kolkata unit has deteriorated and that they would be “happy to make the rectifications” at the earliest.
“I assure the people of West Bengal that Apollo is here and we are committed to compassionate care and will do whatever is possible to see people are treated with love and compassion.”
She added that “Apollo has treated nine million people from West Bengal. In the past one-and-a-half month, the level of care was not what it had been. We stand for quality, we are committed to quality. But sometimes the system does not adhere to that level of quality and anybody has to correct it.”
Reddy, who happens to be the daughter of Apollo Hospitals founder and chairman Prathap C Reddy, said that in the meeting with Bengal Chief Minister she had made a commitment towards making its Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals in Kolkata more “affordable, and accessible. In specific, Reddy indicated at rationalising the hospitalisation tariffs.
“We love people of West Bengal and a large number of people from here visit our Chennai and Hyderabad units. We should do whatever we can to offer highest quality of tertiary healthcare to the people of Bengal,” she emphasised.
Reddy, who flew down from Chennai today, hailed the recent formation of West Bengal Health Regulatory Commission by the state government, and said that Apollo Hospitals would work together with the commission.
Today’s meeting between Apollo Hospitals’ top boss and the Chief Minister comes in in the wake of allegations of medical negligence and inflated billing at its Kolkata unit that resulted in an outrage in relation to accident-victim Sanjay Roy of Dankuni who was admitted on 16 February.
A probe instituted by the state government has found dereliction of duties by four doctors, two top level administrative officials, and two employees from the billing section. A criminal investigation by police is also at an advance stage.
The Health Regulatory Commission will hold its first meeting at Swasthya Bhawan in Salt Lake on 22 March. The commission has been allotted an office at Dalhousie in the city.