Clinical Establishments Act can lead to corporatization of healthcare system in India: MLAG

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The Chandigarh based ‘Medicos Legal Action Group’ (MLAG), a registered trust of allopathic doctors, has alleged that the Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 and the Clinical Establishments (Central Government) Rules, 2012 notified by the government of India are sponsored by corporate lobbies to promote corporatisation of the entire healthcare management system in the country.

The very impact of these corporate friendly laws will be forcible closure of all small hospitals that provide reasonable and low cost treatment and surgery to the common people, said Dr Neeraj Nagpal, convener of MLAG.

While speaking to Pharmabiz over telephone from Chandigarh, he said the ministry of health and family welfare has invited comments from healthcare institutions and public on the minimum standards required for the establishments before April 30. MLAG will demand the removal of hospitals with less than 25 beds from the purview of CEA. According to him, 70 per cent of the total healthcare managements in India are carried out by small hospitals/clinics owned by single doctor or doctor couples and most of the centres are with less than 25 beds.

Dr Neeraj said the government should bring in laws to help the small and medium clinical establishments in the country rather than helping and promoting corporate establishments. Likewise, the government should encourage small healthcare institutions for getting NABH certification and give incentives in the form of tax exemptions, soft loans etc.

Requirement of stringent enforcement of safety regulations and quality control is acknowledged to be needed in large hospitals dealing with large number of patients. But if it is enforced on small scale medical establishments which are not financially viable, they will be forced to close down. In the small establishments the doctor himself is the administrator, quality control officer, fire safety officer, pharmacist and sometimes driver of the ambulance, he commented.

The Dr.Neeraj says that the act is totally confusing, it should segregate Ayush institutions from allopathic establishments and stringent punishment should be imposed on those Ayush doctors who practice allopathy. In the minimum standards, the definition of level 1 and level 2 hospitals says that Ayush doctors can work in these hospitals. It has not been mentioned later in human resources requirement and it is against several judgments of the national consumer disputes redressal commission (NCDRC) and the Supreme Court.

Unani, ayurvedic and other Ayush doctors cannot use allopathic drugs as per law. For Unani hospitals the list of emergency drugs includes adrenaline, dobutamine, nitroglycerine, amiodarone, magnesium sulphate, mannitol etc. What is not clear is, are the Unani doctors supposed to use these allopathic drugs in emergency? There is no post for allopathic doctors in these hospitals. If Unani doctors use these drugs, they are contravening the Supreme Court verdicts of Poonam Verma vs Ashwin Patel as well as Mukhtiar Chand vs State of Punjab judgments”, he said.

Source: PharmaBiz

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