Bhubaneswar: In the wake of several complaints against private hospitals in the state, the Odisha government has toughened its stand against the erring healthcare institutions by suspending the Odisha State Treatment Fund (OSTF) assistance to one and issuing warning to others.
In the latest move, the benefits under the OSTF given to Kalinga Hospital and its subsequent empanelment has been suspended in the wake of recent alleged case of withholding of a patient’s body owing to pending payments.
Health Minister Naba Kishore Das Saturday told the Assembly that the (Health) department has examined the allegations. A team of officials, during investigations, found the hospital errant and flouting the prescribed norms.
Speaking in the House, Das said, “In the backdrop of complaint of withholding of a dead body by the hospital and with the subsequent order of the Speaker, a four-member panel was constituted to enquire into the matter. After the investigations, we have suspended the benefits given to Kalinga Hospital under OSTF norms.”
The health minister also said that several other private hospitals have been warned. Directives have been issued to them to abide by the best practices of ethics in hospitals and follow prescribed rules and orders of the authorities. He told the House that the notification of suspension of the empanelment of the hospital with OSTF was issued July 19, 2019.
The notification in this regard reads, “It is ordered that the Odisha State Treatment Fund (OSTF) empanelment status of Kalinga Hospital, Bhubaneswar is hereby suspended with effect from July 19, 2019 until further orders.”
The issue of withholding of the patient’s body by Kalinga Hospital authorities escalated when BJP MLA Mohan Majhi visited the hospital and had an argument with concerned authorities. Kalinga Hospital, however, in its statement had denied withholding the dead body in the case. Subsequently, a special panel was formed to investigate the matter.
Meanwhile, in the Assembly, several some MLAs have named other leading private hospitals that have denied treatment to patients, with their rights guarded under the OSTF norms.