Kolkata is witnessing a sharp decline in the number of Bangladeshi patients in six of its top private hospitals, over the last few months, according to an article publish in the Times of India
The number of Bangladeshi patient in the city's private hospitals has taken a "sharper slide" – which is weighing heavy on the hospitals as these patients have been "a consistent source of business for over a decade."
Even though, Bangladeshi patient volume has increased immensely over the years in India, in the recent months private hospitals "have seen the drop particularly after some hospitals came under fire from the state government, which held many guilty of negligence and bill inflation."
TOI reports: "AMRI Hospitals at Dhakuria, Mukundapur and Salt Lake receive around 2,500 patients monthly from Bangladesh. Since March, the number has dropped by nearly 15%."
AMRI CEO Rupak Barua believed that this decline "is directly linked to the bad publicity" that Kolkata hospitals received in February by the Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI). This incident had prompted [Kolkata's] Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee "to pull up private hospitals for allegedly fleecing patients."
Rupak said: "Ever since, there has been a steady drop in the number of patients from Bangladesh. Most, it seems, now prefer Delhi and southern states. Healthcare thrives on trust and once it is broken, it is going to be difficult for the industry."
Ruby General Hospital's Manager Subhashish Dutta said: "Ever since Kolkata hospitals came under fire this February, Bangladeshis have been following the developments keenly and exchanging notes on social media. They are clearly wary of our hospitals now, especially when it comes to taking admissions. While the drop in numbers isn't very sharp yet, the crisis period is not over. Unless we can shrug off the negative image and regain their trust, the numbers might tumble further.”
Ruby used to admit around 450 Bangladeshis per month, including around 30 indoor patients. By June, the latter had reportedly dropped to 20.
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