Private Hospitals yet to fall in line with Clinical Establishment Act


By Anupama Vimal

Thiruvananthapuram: An important legislation in Kerala aimed at bringing accountability and transparency in the functioning of hospitals and came into force from January one this year in three districts has so far failed to find any takers from the private sector.

The Kerala Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2018 mandates online registration of both public and private hospitals in the state.

The online registration started from January 1, 2019 in three districts. However, the private hospitals have not yet responded to this, stating that the government was in a hurry to implement it. They claimed that many of the provisions in the Act was not practical and needed a revisit.

The Kerala Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act passed in February 2018 was considered to be a revolutionary step in health care system in the state. The Act is aimed at bringing in accountability and transparency in functioning of public/ private sector hospitals.

Kerala health minister K K Shylaja has said that Kerala was the first state to have brought in the online registration.

Despite welcoming the Clinical Establishment Act , the private hospital owners are of the view that there were many impractical provisions in the Act that has to be addressed first. Meanwhile, the Kerala Private Hospital’s Association have also managed to get a ruling from the Kerala High Court that no coercive action will be taken against the private hospitals for not registering online.

Most of the private hospitals and private practitioners were of the opinion that the government was in a haste when several quacks and malpractise was happening in other systems of medicine. Instead of roping in such quackery in other systems of medicines, the government was only going ahead with impractical provisions. They wanted the government to revisit the grievances and concerns that they have raised.

It is mainly the small private hospitals that are much worried over the implementation of the new Act. Noting that small and medium hospitals were the backbone of health care system in the state, many of them opined that many of the hospitals would face a death knell. They also noted that a large number of small clinics have closed down and many more would join the bandwagon with the Clinical establishment Act.

The Kerala Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) bill was placed in the Assembly in 2018 ten years after it was drafted. The Act has much significance in the wake of frequent reports of private hospitals charging exorbitantly and misusing lab and pharmaceutical establishments.

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