Release of the body of a deceased patient cannot be denied for any reason by the hospitals, and the state as well as Union Territory (UT) governments should take appropriate steps to protect the family of a deceased from instances of exploitation by the hospitals under the provisions of The Patients’ Rights Charter, said Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
MoS said this while replying to the query of Rajya Sabha MP Kartikeya Sharma. The minister gave the written reply to a question by Rajya Sabha member Kartikeya Sharma. In the light of several incidents that private hospitals not permitting patients’ family to take away body if payment is not made, the member asked that if the government is aware of such situation and if yes, what is being done to reduce it. Pawar informed the House through a written reply to a question asked on “whether the government is aware of the fact that despite the fact that as per the Charter of Patients’ Rights, patients have a right that even if the hospital bill is not paid by the family of a deceased, the dead bodies cannot be held hostage by the hospital, such incidents are happening despite this right being in place”.
The Patients’ Rights Charter, as approved by National Council for Clinical Establishments, a statutory body, under the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010. “As per the Guidelines (para x), of the said Charter, “Release of the body of a patient cannot be denied for any reason by the hospitals.” She further said that the aforesaid Charter has been shared with all the states and the UTs for adoption and implementation so that the grievances and concerns of patients are addressed while ensuring a smooth and cordial environment in clinical establishments. The Minister also said that the state and UT governments take appropriate steps to protect the family of a deceased from instances of exploitation by the hospitals. “The adoption, implementation and monitoring of the provisions of the Patients’ Rights Charter is within the remit of the respective state and UT government,” Pawar said, adding “the information in this regard is not maintained centrally.”