The Advanced Medical Research Institute, Dhakuria. Feb. 2014
|Founded||1996 at Kolkata, India|
AMRI Hospitals is a private hospital chain which is headquartered at the city of Kolkata, West Bengal, India and it is owned by the Emami & Shrachi group. The company's head office is in Kolkata, West Bengal, with 6 branches in the Indian State of West Bengal, 1 at Bhubaneshwar in the Indian State of Odisha and 6 branches in Bangladesh.AMRI Hospitals has 4 centres in Kolkata - Dhakuria, Salt Lake, Mukundapur and Kalighat.
AMRI Hospitals was co-founded by the Emami and Shrachi Groups in 1996, two of Kolkata's developing groups, in a partnership with the Government of West Bengal to expand health coverage options for consumers. The AMRI hospital is a center for training students from the Institute of Radiology and Medical Imaging, and it is ISO 9001:2000 certified.
Anuradha Saha case
On 24 October 2013, the Supreme Court of India ordered AMRI Hospitals to pay compensation for medical negligence at their hospital in Kolkata that led to the death of Anuradha Saha, a US-based child psychologist, on 28 May 1998. The court described the standard of medical care at the hospital as "abysmal", and wrote that the court's decision was intended as a "deterrent and a reminder" to the medical community. The compensation, which with interest came to Rs. 11.41 crore (US$1.86 million in 2013), was the highest ever awarded by an Indian court for medical negligence.
A fire at the hospital occurred at Dhakuria in South Kolkata in the early morning of 9 December 2011. The fire was due to alleged negligence, which caused flammable substances kept in the basement of the building to catch fire after a short circuit in the electrical system. It is reported that 95 people, including members of the staff, died due to asphyxiation. Six board members of the hospital have been arrested on the charges of alleged culpable homicide. The license of the hospital was revoked after the incident.
According to eyewitnesses, it was reported that at around 3:30 a.m. smoke was seen coming out of the basement of the building. The fire soon spread to other floors of the hospital, which resulted in the suffocation of patients. At approximately 5 a.m. the Fire Brigade reached the room. The hospital authority said that some patients were shifted to other units of the hospital at Saltlake. According to the hospital spokesperson, there were 160 patients at the time of the incident, of which around 50 were in the ICU. By noon, the death tally reached 55. Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister, had initially put the tally at 61. The state Police filed an FIR against the hospital and had its license revoked; the fire department lodged an FIR against the hospital for inadequate fire preventive measures. With it being discovered that the medical waste and chemicals kept in the basement caused the fire; the state government announced two committees to probe fire plans in other parts of the city. The owners of the hospital, RS Goenka and SK Todi, surrendered at the local police station. The hospital authority later announced 5 lakhs compensation for the deceased's families.
The AMRI directors were taken into police custody on 20 December, during which the fire department found them guilty of negligence. The then Finance Minister of India, Pranab Mukherjee visited the SSKM hospital on the night of the incident. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offered condolences to the victim's families and announced compensation of two lakhs to the kin. On 12 December, the Chief Minister took part in a candle light march including people from all religions and communities. She said that 56 people which helped the hospital staff and saved the people, would be honored at the Police ceremony. She also promised a government job to each of the victim's family. The West Bengal government started paying compensation of 3 lakhs to the victims on 2 January 2012, many of which decided to use it fighting the case against the hospital.
On 3 January 2012, FICCI urged the West Bengal government to release those directors who are not responsible in "day to day operations", in order to prevent negative view for the investors. Mamata Banerjee rejected the request on the ground that the law will take its own course. On 5 January 2012, the city court rejected the bail plea of the accused and extended their custody to 19 January, considering the ongoing investigation and sensitivity of the case.
On 1 February 2012, the Calcutta High Court directed the hospital management to submit treatment bills, later the director was released on bail. On 30 December 2013, the hospital unit was reopened partially, which it became fully operational by 5 July 2014.
Ultimately a total of 16 people stood accused in connection with the fire in July 2016, including the board members and several directors of the hospital. Amongst the charges were culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 of the Indian Penal Code, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment in cases where the criminal actions are undertaken knowingly but without the intention to cause death. Additional charges were laid under Section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and Section 38 (effect caused partly by act and partly by omission).
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