An NGO based in Pune called Jan Arogya Abhiyan has written a letter to Chief Minister and Health Minister of Maharashtra, urging them to discuss the issue pertaining to the Maharashtra Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Bill before the Vidhan Sabha, with specified provisions to protect the interests of patients.
The letter mentions that, this week, the Karnataka legislature passed KPME (Amendment) Act with provisions for rate transparency, rate display, uniform rates for government run healthcare insurance schemes, Charter of Patient’s Rights and Charter for Private Medical Establishments, Grievance Redressal Authority for patients to redress complaints regarding overcharging and violation of charter of patient rights, Standard Treatment Protocols to curb unnecessary surgeries/investigations/medications etc.
But, the state government has not taken any steps to enact the Maharashtra Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Bill. This bill is ready, even the Law department has given it’s clearance but the government has put it on hold from the last three years since 2014.
Dr Abhijit More, Co-convener of Jan Arogya Abhiyaan explained, “The Maharashtra Clinical Establishment Bill is pending since the past three years. In order to bring private hospitals under its regulatory framework, the bill needs to see the light of day, with certain modifications and inclusion of Charter of Patient’s Rights, along with a mechanism for grievance redressal.”
With an aim to protect the interests of patients, doctors, and hospitals Jan Arogya Abhiyan believes that following provisions are necessary in regulatory framework:
- Charter of Patient’s Rights and responsibilities along with mechanism to implement it by every clinical establishment, whether public or private
- Standard Treatment Protocols and Prescription Audit to check unnecessary surgeries/investigations/medications etc.
- Display of rates in all clinical establishments; Transparency in rates and Rate Standardisation with multi-stakeholder participation
- District level Grievance Redressal Mechanism for patients and Appeal mechanism which includes members from public health officials, doctors representatives, retired judge, health rights activists, women rights activists, consumer rights experts etc.
- State Council for Clinical Establishment with multi-stakeholder participation including doctor’s representatives, health rights activists, women rights activists
- Excluding OPD clinics from space and infrastructure criteria; Inclusion of representatives of small-medium hospitals in Standard Setting Teams/Committees so that standards would be practical and fair for small hospitals
- Adequately staffed dedicated implementing public agency/officers for this bill because existing public health bureaucracy at District level is already over-burdened