Government-run health centres, hospitals, nursing homes, Diagnostic centres will soon need to be registered and also adhere to the minimum standards specified by law - according to a new draft 'Clinical Establishment Bill' that has been finalised by the Health Ministry and is being sent to the cabinet for approval.
The proposed law will apply to all recognised systems of medicines, be it Allopathy, Unani or Ayurvedic and the same parameters will apply to a hospital, be it 10 or 1,000-bed. They will be given two years to register - Said an official from Health Ministry.
Till now, there was no central law to regulate them or availability of authentic data on nursing homes, diagnostic centres or type of facilities/expertise offered was available. Earlier such laws were enacted by some state governments to deal with the issue, but weren't implemented yet. For example, In, Bombay and Delhi Nursing Homes, the Act was passed in 1949 and 1953 but rules could not be framed to implement it.
'The ministry has been trying to enact a law to deal with the problem since 1996. However, it took some time to arrive at the final stage because there were many issues involved.' - says a senior health ministry official. He added that the registration would be made compulsory even if the establishment had registered under any other state law according to the proposed Act and that there would be a registering authority at the district, state and national levels to ensure all comply with the law.
He also added: 'Presently, there's no uniformity in standard and one can get different reports from different centres for the same pathological tests. We have to standardize this.' A national council will be constituted to verify, categorize, and standardize them. Non-compliance would attract penalty ranging from Rs.500 to Rs five lakh.