States urged to implement Clinical Establishment Act

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New Delhi: In wake of the Fortis episode, the Union Health Ministry has urged all the states and union territories to adopt and implement the Clinical Establishment Act, ensuring registration and regulation of all clinical establishments with a view to prescribe the minimum standards of facilities and services they provide.

Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan has written to all the Chief Secretaries in this regard and has warned all health care establishments including private hospitals not to indulge in unethical practices.

“It is time to learn lessons from such incidents, and I advice that a meeting with all important healthcare establishments (including private hospitals)of your state be taken and they be clearly sounded not to induclge in such practices following which strict action will be taken. I request you to kindly get the Clinical Establishment Act adopted and implemented by your state also,” she said in her letter, a copy of which is with IANS.

The development comes in the wake of a seven-year old girl, suffering from dengue, dying at Gurugram’s Fortis Memorial hospital on September 14 despite undergoing treatment for two weeks and her her parents alleging that they were allowed to take the body only after paying an “over charged” bill of Rs 18 lakh. Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda had sought report from the hospital.

Citing the episode, Sudan said that “it has been alleged that the patient was grossly over charged and standard treatment protocols were not followed”.

“Such incidents have an extremely deleterious impact on the fact of the general public in the health care system in the country. It is our duty to ensure that such incidents do not recur and quality care and treatment is provided to persons in need and that it is provided at a fair and affordable prices.”

She said she would draw the states’ attention to the Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 under which effective action can be taken against healthcare establishments indulging in unethical practices.

Currently only 10 states and 6 union territories have aopted and implemented the act while many others have showed their interest to adopt it. However, health being a state subject, the Union Health Ministry cannot force the states to implement it.

The Act has taken effect in only four states — Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Sikkim — and all union territories except Delhi since March 1, 2012.

Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam have also adopted the Act.

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