Cuttack: The SCB Medical College and Hospital authorities faced a hostile patient community when it instructed its cashiers to start charging a fee for conduction of different tests at the Regional Diagnostic Centre (RDC) and other pathological units.
The protest flared up as the government had on December 19 announced free diagnostic services under the NIDAAN scheme from January 1.The counter flare-ups between the patients and the teller in charges, had the SCB Medical College and Hospital Superintendent, Prof Syama Kanungo immediately, give instructions to stop all fee collection from patients and a refund of amounts collected already.
“Though we had received the government order we could not circulate it to all the departments in a very short time for which the situation arose. After getting clarification from Government on this regard, we have instructed authorities of all the diagnostic units of SCBMCH to stop collecting fees and conduct all other tests free of cost, except MRI,” Prof Kanungo said.
The collection counters have so far refunded fees to 6 persons in accordance with the instruction; 3 others are to be refunded by Tuesday, she informed.
A council meeting of all the department heads was also convened to discuss problems faced by the staff in providing diagnostic services free of cost. All the unit heads were to account for consumable expenses, per day, towards providing of free service claims, for the same then could be claimed by the hospital authority from the budget and later pledge them to the government to meet the diagnostic service expenses, Ms. Kanungo told TNIE.