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While lauding Mamata Banerjee government’s efforts to curb unethical practices in healthcare institutes, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said medical professionals should serve patients with a “human touch”. He also asked patient’s families to not assault doctors.
“There is a proverb in English that a smiling face can cure half of the disease. However, patients have some responsibilities. The families of patients also have some responsibilities. It is not acceptable that one would ransack the hospital and beat up doctors if there was an allegation that a patient has died due to medical negligence,” said Mukherjee, speaking at the inauguration of Indian Institute of Liver and Digestive Sciences (IILDS), the first full-fledged healthcare institute dedicated to liver diseases in eastern India, set up by the West Bengal Liver Foundation in Sonarpur in the southern suburbs of Kolkata.
In the last few months, there have been several cases where people vandalised hospitals accusing them of medical negligence and inflated costs. In view of this, the state enacted legislation that heavily penalised private healthcare institutes and set up a regulatory commission to examine medical malpractice cases. The move did not however go down too well with doctors with several of them calling it harsh.
On thursday, the President acknowledged the state government’s move to curb unethical practices.
“West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently met with several hospital managements after she got reports that some of them were charging exorbitant medical costs. She took action immediately and held talks with all stakeholders to find solutions. She is doing a lot of work in education and health sectors,” he said. Speaking at the event, Mamata Banerjee too echoed similar views. “There is a need to provide a little love and humanity while serving patents,” she said.
The state-of-the-art IILDS, which is spread over a four-acre plot, has a 100-bed inpatient section. The institute will be a boon for people suffering from liver diseases, which claim an estimated 2,00,000 lives every year in India.
The hospital aims at providing the best care to the people at a cost 30-40 per cent less than what is being charged by other hospitals now, Mukherjee said.
Mukherjee is on a two-day visit to West Bengal. On Friday, he will attend a medical award ceremony at the Science City Auditorium here and inaugurate the Integrated Renewable Energy Smart Microgrid Centre and the Centre for Water and Environmental Research at the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology at Shibpur in Howrah, before leaving for Delhi.