States urged to adopt measure regulating private clinics

March 15th, 2011 - 9:26 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Tuesday urged state governments to speed up adoption of the Clinical Establishment Bill regulating private clinics.

Azad told the Rajya Sabha that the legislation, passed by both houses of parliament, lays down standards and the range for price that private and government hospitals can charge for a particular procedure.

“I had written to the state health ministers in December; the issue was also taken up in the recent meeting of state ministers. I have asked them to pass resolutions to adopt the act in the coming assembly session,” Azad said.

“After the act is enforced, the public will get relief from over-charging and sometimes unnecessary medication or hospitalisation by some hospitals,” the minister said.

Azad also informed the house that under the act, a three-member committee could be set up at the district level to look into the functioning of private clinics.

Only four states - Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Sikkim - have so far passed the resolution to adopt the act.

The health minister also said that the six-member body, which replaced the Medical Council of India (MCI) last year, is independent to take all decisions on medical education.

“The board of governors has total freedom whatsoever. We do not interfere except for policy directions,” Azad said.

The Medical Council of India was replaced by a six member body headed by eminent gastroenterologist S.K. Sarin in May last year.

The move came after MCI president Ketan Desai was arrested on graft charges and the body was suspended.

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