• Posted by CERC India
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‘Hospitals can’t detain patients, bodies over payment disputes’ 

Humane step 


Not discharging a patient or declining to hand over a body to relatives by hospitals over payment disputes may soon become an offence if a charter on patients’ rights released by the Union Health Ministry comes into force.

The draft charter states that it is duty of the hospital to not wrongfully confine any patient, or dead body of a patient, treated in the hospital under any circumstance. The ministry plans to implement the charter, prepared by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), through the state governments. As per the charter, the patient or his family has a right to access all medical records and seek a second opinion.

Rights upheld 

Health policies to cover mental illness

Long overdue 

Insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has issued a circular directing insurance companies to cover mental healthcare. The Mental Healthcare Act, which came into effect on May 29, had made it mandatory to provide medical insurance for the treatment of mental illness on the same basis as is available for treatment of physical illness.

So far, none of India’s 33 insurers has introduced a product that covers aliments like depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. There would be two coverages needed – OPD cover for consultation, drugs and therapy and another for hospitalization and rehab, which would be long-term and expensive.

Life of dignity 

WhatsApp appoints grievance officer for India 

Tough govt stance 

Meeting one of the key demands that India had put on WhatsApp to curb fake messages that triggered mob killings, the Facebook-owned company has appointed a grievance officer for India. Details are available in the FAQ section on its website.  Users can seek help through the mobile app or send an email to the officer, Komal Lahiri, who is based in the US.

India is WhatsApp’s biggest market with more than 200 million users. In July, the company had limited message forwards to five chats at a time and had also removed the quick forward button to discourage mass forwarding. It had also introduced a ‘forward’ label to help users identify such messages.

Curbing misinformation


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