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Denial of patients' right

Quality health care at affordable rates still remains a luxury for a large section of the population

Business Standard 

With reference to Veena Mani’s report, “Hospitals charging over 500% for angioplasty devices: Maharashtra FDA” (July 11), apart from overcharging, hospitals are reluctant to part with patients’ medical records although they have a right over them. 

Patients trying to get these records will face a “Chinese wall”. They are not allowed to even read their medical records. Even after a patient’s death, the records are not given to his or her family, on the pretext that these would be used for research. If a patient is admitted to a hospital, specialists who the patient has not even asked for, visit him or her, and their visiting charges (Rs 1,000 or more) are added to the patient’s bill — a novel method of fleecing.

The UK has the Data Protection Act, under which patients can demand their medical records from a hospital. India needs such a law. Quality health care at affordable rates still remains a luxury for a large section of the population.

Deendayal M Lulla   Mumbai
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