WHO for regulation of India`s `5-star` private hospitals

New Delhi: The India chief of World Health Organization today favoured regulation of private hospitals and tax-based financing of universal health coverage proposed in the 12th Plan.

"The private sector in India is represented by five star hospitals. Their services need to be regulated," WHO`s Country Representative Nata Menabde said at a media roundtable organized to discuss World Health Organisation`s Country Cooperation Strategy with India over the next five years till 2017.

Menabde made it clear that WHO was not a health police but said it was involved in strengthening India`s performance as a global leader in health sector.

On the vast unregulated private health delivery sector in India, she said "getting hold of the private health service provisions not regulated for decades is going to be a challenge. Complex strategies are needed to address the issue."

The WHO batted strongly for the adoption of the Clinical Establishment Registration Act passed by Parliament in 2010 but not adopted by the states so far. Only four of the states and UTs have ratified the law which seeks to regulate the high rates charged by private hospitals for different services they offer.

Menabde said "over-diagnosis" in private hospitals was a problem and so was "misuse of technology".

The WHO India representative asked the government to raise the public financing of health as a percentage of GDP.

"We have supported tax-based financing... The decision is in the hands of the government," she said.


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