The Clinical Establishments Bill 2010 that aims to streamline healthcare services across the country, while keeping a check on unethical practices particularly in the private sector continue to receive dismal response from the States.
Just 11 States —Sikkim, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan Uttarakhand,
Assam and Haryana and all Union Territories except Delhi have adopted the Act, as per the data available from the Government submitted in Parliament recently.
A senior official from the Union Health Ministry lamented that among those who have adopted, the implementation has not been as per expectations. "States need to make more efforts and cooperation by all stakeholders is required," he said about the Act.
The Government had enacted the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 and notified Clinical Establishments (Central Government) Rules, 2012.
These provide for registration and regulation of Clinical Establishments including those in the private sector belonging to allopathic and AYUSH systems of medicine, the official added.
Under the Act, therapeutic as well as diagnostic establishments have been covered. In the States/Union Territories where the said Act is in force, the clinical establishments are required to meet the norms such as minimum standards of facilities and services, minimum requirement of personnel, maintenance of records and reports and displaying of rates at a conspicuous place, said the official.
He said that more States are yet to come forward for its adoption as there had been stiff opposition to the Bill from within the medical fraternity, with many raising apprehensions that small and medium hospitals would be adversely affected and that the cost of health care would actually go up.
However, while cost will not increase as feared by those opposing it, its implementation will help ensure better services to the patients, he said. As per the Act, the clinical establishments are also required to follow standard treatment guidelines issued by the Central/State Governments and charge rates for each type of procedure and service within the range of rates determined from time to time.
"Other States may adopt the Act under clause (1) of Article 252 of the Constitution. The Central Government is continuously persuading the States to adopt the Clinical Establishment Act, 2010 and ensure its strict
implementation or consider bringing a State specific legislation in the matter, if they wish," said the official.