H1N1 influenza stirs Health dept from its slumber

In action mode to implement Private Medical Establishments Act


Had the department acted swiftly and implemented the Act passed by the State Legislature in 2007, all private hospitals would have obeyed the directions of the Government and given treatment to A(HINI) patients in the State.

The Act makes it mandatory for all private medical hospitals to register themselves, follow certain standards and display charges for treatments offered. More importantly, they have to comply with all the directives issued by the Government as per the Act. “Private hospitals should comply with all directives issued by the Government. They (private hospitals) should actively participate in the implementation of all health programmes of the State government.” the Act stated.

Perhaps, it is the only legislation that empowers the Government to control and regulate private hospitals. The Act was passed in the both Houses of State Legislature in 2007. If any of the rules under the Act is violated, the hospitals can be penalised up to three years of imprisonment and a maximum of Rs 10,000 fine.

In the absence of any power now, the Government has been reduced into a toothless tiger. This was the reason as to why it had been only growling at private hospitals which refused to treat patients and could not take any action. The CM repeatedly warned that stringent action will be taken against private hospitals which defy his orders. But the hospitals were least bothered.

Final notification

In the wake of A(HINI) creating havoc and some private hospitals refusing to treat the affected patients, the Health department has started acting now. “The draft rules have been notified in February this year and public objections received. We have almost finalised the rules and will shortly issue final notification in this regard. It will not be delayed any further. Private hospitals will have to follow the Government orders once the Act is implemented,” Health Commissioner P N Srinivasachary said.

The draft rules have fixed the registration and renewal fees for hospitals. The fee varies depending on the type of treatment and size of the hospital. The draft rules have set standards for running private hospitals and made it mandatory to display on the notice board the rates for different treatments offered to patients.

All existing hospitals should register themselves within 90 days of the Act coming into effect. Permission to set up new hospitals will be granted only after registration.

 

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