Exploitation by private hospitals: Issue flagged in Odisha Assembly

Bhubaneswar: The issue of alleged exploitation of patients by private hospitals dominated Odisha Assembly proceedings on Monday.

While raising the issue, BJP chief whip Mohan Majhi cited his personal experience recently faced at Kalinga Hospital in Bhubaneswar.

“Kalinga Hospital had detained the body of a patient as his family members had not cleared the hospital dues. When I requested hospital authorities to release the body, the staff misbehaved with me. Later, I had approached the Health minister who assured me of action,” said Majhi.

Majhi further stated that he was forced to raise the issue in Assembly as several private hospitals are exploiting patients and not releasing dead bodies citing pending bills.

In his ruling, Odisha Assembly Speaker SN Patro directed the Health and Family Welfare department to constitute a committee and take appropriate action as similar allegations of harassment and exploitation by private hospitals are being reported from different parts of the State.

Congress MLA Suresh Routray also targeted Kalinga Hospital and alleged that dead persons are being put on ventilators for money. “The State government had provided land for the hospital at a mere Re 1 for the benefit of poor patients. However, the hospital has been sold to another party at Rs 200 to Rs 300 crore,” said Routray.

BJD MLA Amar Satpathy also alleged that poor families and BPL card holders are not able to reap the benefits of Biju Swathya Kalyan Yojana at Kalinga Hospital.

Meanwhile, the authorities of Kalinga Hospital could not be contacted over the allegations.

“BJP chief whip has lodged a written complaint and already I have formed a committee and appropriate action will be taken after a report is submitted within seven days,” said Health Minister, Naba Das.

Das further said that even a common man can lodge a complaint with the department if they are being exploited by private hospitals.