Union Health Minister J. P. Nadda on Thursday directed all the Chief Ministers to adopt and implement the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 so that malpractice in private hospitals can be curbed.
The Act 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.
In a letter to the Chief Ministers of all states and Union Territories, the Minister said that effective implementation of the Act would deter clinical establishments from indulging in unethical practices and ensuring that they discharge their duties responsibly towards the patients.
"You would agree that such a pertinent area should not be left unregulated.
I call upon you to adopt this comprehensive legislation in your state for effective regulation of clinical establishments and thereby prevent recurrence of such unsavoury incidents in the interest of patients, " Nadda said.
The letter comes in the wake of various cases pertaining to alleged overcharging and negligence by Fortis and Max Super specialty hospitals in Delhi and Gurugram.
Nadda said that the recent public ire, widely covered by the national and local media, over excess charging for healthcare services and professional negligence on the part of some private hospitals has once again put the issue of affordable and assured healthcare services to our citizens in public domain.
He said "as you are kindly aware" the government has enacted the Act and notified the rules framed there under.
"This comprehensive Act provides for registration and regulation of different categories of clinical establishments in government as well as private sector.
"Alternatively, you may even consider bringing a state specific legistation in the matter if adoption of the Act is not found suitable, " he said.
Earlier, Health Secretary Preeti Sudan had written to all states to issue strict warnings and take action against hospitals, including private ones, which indulge in malpractices such as overcharging and don't follow required standard treatment protocols.
The Act has taken effect in only four states - - Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Sikkim - - and all Union Territories, except Delhi, since March 1, 2012 vide Gazette notification dated February 28, 2012.
Also, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam have adopted the Act.
The Act is applicable to all types (both therapeutic and diagnostic types) of clinical establishments from the public and private sectors, belonging to all recognised systems of medicine, including single - doctor clinics.