Writ to be filed at Delhi HC under provisions of Clinical Establishments Act to make cardiac care centres accountable

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In order to make hospitals, cardiac care centres more accountable in terms of charging patients in the name of angioplasty procedures, a fresh writ will be filed at Delhi High Court (HC) under the provisions of the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 next week. The respondents in the writ drafted are Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and Chief Minister of Delhi.

A contempt application is also being filed against the union health ministry which are respondents in the public interest litigation (PIL) against 38 hospitals filed recently in Delhi HC for overcharging cardiac patients by hospitals in the name of angioplasty procedures.

Following the petition recently, a bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar of Delhi HC had directed union health ministry to control the rate of operation charges, doctors’ visiting charges, nursing charges and to draft a policy within 4 months period to control exorbitant charges borne by the patients.

As per the petition filed, the patients are charged between Rs. 2,39,684 and RRs. 2,16,229 as angioplasty package which is a huge cost despite the fact that the NPPA through a notification on February 14, 2017 had fixed ceiling prices of cardiac stents with bare metal stents cost being brought down to Rs. 7,260 from Rs. 45,000 and that of drug eluting stents at Rs. 29,600.

The Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 has been enacted by the Central Government to provide for registration and regulation of all clinical establishments in the country with a view to prescribe the minimum standards of facilities and services provided by them.

The Act has taken effect in the four States namely, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim, and all union territories except the NCT of Delhi since March 1, 2012 through a gazette notification dated 28 February, 2012. The states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam have adopted the Act under clause (1) of article 252 of the Constitution.

The ministry has notified the national council for clinical establishments and the clinical establishments (central government) rules, 2012 under this act through gazette notifications dated 19 March, 2012 and 23 May, 2012 respectively.

The Act is applicable to all types (both therapeutic and diagnostic types) of clinical establishments from the public and private sectors, belonging to all recognized systems of medicine, including single doctor clinics. The only exception is clinical establishments run by the armed forces.

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