Overseas patients in Bengal state-run hospitals will now pay for treatment
A formal notification on this count was issued by the state health department on Saturday
The West Bengal government has now taken an official decision to no longer offer free treatment facilities to international patients in state-run hospitals.
A formal notification on this count was issued by the state health department on Saturday.
Department sources said that it had recently come to the notice of audit officers that huge amounts of money were draining out of the state exchequer because of the free treatment offered to thousands of overseas patients every year, the majority of whom are from neighbouring Bangladesh.
The notification says any overseas patient coming to a state-run hospital for treatment on an emergency basis will have to pay a certain amount as treatment fee.
In case of treatments covered under the state government's health insurance schemes, the fees that the foreign patients will have to pay will be equivalent to the amount fixed for the treatments.
However, in case of non-specified treatments, the hospitals will have the liberty to fix the rates for foreign patients.
The state government had recently formed a detailed policy about the treatment of overseas patients in state-run hospitals.
A four-member committee was also constituted which also advised against free treatment facilities.