Bill in RS for uniformity in healthcare delivery



New Delhi: A bill seeking to bring uniformity in the healthcare delivery by making registration of all clinical establishments mandatory was introduced in the Rajya Sabha today.

The Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Bill, which prescribes enhanced penalty for defaulters, was introduced by Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Azad said many countries have "regulatory framework" for healthcare and the Bill, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha in the last session, provided the same.

He said as per the Constitution, Health is a state subject and the Bill was being introduced as four states - Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Sikkim - passed a resolution in their respective Assemblies in favour of the measure.

It will also be applicable to the Union Territories and other states if they pass a resolution adopting the Bill.

The main objective of the new statute is to bring uniformity in the healthcare delivery by making registration of all clinical establishments mandatory and prescribing enhanced penalty for defaulters.

Under provisions of the Bill, the clinical establishments would include hospitals, maternity homes, nursing homes, dispensaries, clinics and similar facilities with beds that offer diagnosis, treatment or care for illness or injury or pregnancy in any recognised system of medicine such as Allopathy, Yoga, Naturopathy, Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Siddha and Unani.

It also includes any laboratory which offers pathological, bacteriological, genetic, radiological, chemical, biological and other diagnostic or investigative services. The establishments can be owned by the government or a department of the government, a Trust (public or private), a corporation (including a cooperative society), a local authority or a single doctor establishment.

Initiating a discussion on the Bill, Rama Jois (BJP) lamented that only four states have adopted it so far and pointed out to problems of medical laboratories in the country.

Highlighting the problem of unregulated laboratories, he said there was no provision in the Bill that such laboratories should be accredited.

He said the state governments should fix the rates for all tests and no lab should charge more than the prescribed rate.

Sudarsana Natchiappan (Congress) listed achievements of the UPA government in providing healthcare to the people. He wanted a record of the doctors, who get their degrees with the taxpayer's money and then migrate abroad.

Avtar Singh Karimpuri (BSP) felt the Bill was more in favour of the corporate hospitals.

PTI