New Order by WBCERC: Private Hospitals in WB Barred from Charging Follow-up Consultation Fees for 15 Days After Primary Consultation
Kolkata: In a significant move, the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) has instructed hospitals that there will be no additional consultation fee assessed for up to 15 days after the date of the initial consultation for displaying test results requested by the doctor in the outpatient department (OPD).
This occurred after the commission brought to light the unfair treatment of OPD patients in clinical settings, noting that they had previously had seven days to present the report or findings of the investigations to the consultant or treating physician.
According to the commission, if patients did not return with reports as instructed by the doctor within 7 days, they would be compelled to pay the whole consultation fee for providing test results or investigation results to the doctor as of the eighth day.
“Due to our observation that some private hospitals are now charging the whole consultation price if the patient does not return to exhibit the reports within 7 days, even though there was previously no fee for consultation of test results ordered by the doctor, we have released advice number 33. A complaint over the matter was submitted on February 27, 2023, and the committee noted that, particularly in situations involving several investigations and testing, it can take some time for tests to be carried out and results to be received.” The WBCERC’s chair and former judge, Ashim Banerjee, explained
Continuing, he said, “This period of time is quite brief. The reports are frequently inaccessible, necessitating the patient party to pay for a second session just to view the reports or investigative findings. We determined that it was acceptable to allow the patient at least 15 days to return for the consultation in light of this.”
The committee recently decided that the patient party would not be charged an additional cost if the reports or results of the tests the doctor requested were submitted within 15 days after the appointment.
However, as the WBCERC also stated in the advisory while also allowing an extension for test result consultation, this will not stop the clinical establishments from asking the patient party to show the report/results of the investigational Consultant/doctor as soon as they are available in the patient’s interest of timely treatment.