In order to curb medical negligence and bring in more accountability, India will soon launch an international rating system for hospitals, according to the top officials of the government.
"As per our suggestions, the health ministry has already set up a committee to look into the matter. Through an accredited body, hospitals will be rated throughout the country," said consumer affairs secretary L. Mansingh. He was speaking on the sidelines of a national consumer affairs conference.
"The accredited body, in collaboration with Bureau of Indian Standard, will rate government and private hospitals. Initially, it will be applicable to those who want to be rated," Mansingh told IANS.
He said that in an atmosphere where quality was the only parameter, all the hospitals would like to improve their services and be rated "for their own benefit".
"Before rating any one, there will be proper audit of their facilities, consumer satisfaction and above all the medical track record," the secretary said.
Health Secretary P. Hota added: "The process has already started and within one year, it may be put in place."
Speaking about medical negligence, Hota said that though doctors were usually a responsible lot, any "wilful negligence is punishable".
"Once the case is with the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC), it can be solved within the parameters of law. They have the authority to penalise both doctors and the hospital as well."