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Times of India
10 September 2010

State to introduce guidelines laid down by Centre, penalties range from Rs 10,000 to Rs 5 lakh
Now, hospitals in Maharashtra will pay. Literally. The State will penalise hospitals that are filthy, or those which refuse to attend to emergency cases. It doesn’t stop here. Penalties, between Rs 10,000 and Rs 5 lakh depending on the violation, are in place for the lack of facilities listed in the ‘minimum required’ guidelines, for centres that harass patients and their relatives, and for clinics that operate without registration.

(Clockwise from above) J J Hospital, KEM Hospital and Lilavati Hospital. Hefty fines will be levied on hospitals that fail to meet the guidelines by the Centre (Clockwise from above) J J Hospital, KEM Hospital and Lilavati Hospital. Hefty fines will be levied on hospitals that fail to meet the guidelines by the Centre
These measures are part of the recently formed Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act 2010 by the Centre, which aims for uniform standard of infrastructure and service delivery by medical centres across the country. Public Health Minister Suresh Shetty said the Bill will be introduced in the forthcoming session of the State Legislature to facilitate the Act’s implementation. Apart from public and private hospitals, private dispensaries will also come under the purview of the Act.

Hospitals will classify medical centres under different categories depending on the facilities they offer and their performance. All medical centres will be reviewed on regular basis.

Sources in the Health Ministry said numerous complaints over hospitals refusing to admit patients led to the birth of the enactment. The Act makes it mandatory for all medical centres in the state to ensure that any patient wheeled in, in an emergency condition has to be stabilised.

The State felt an urgent need to regularise minimum standard of facilities in clinics, treatment and monitoring of the recovery process, apart from ensuring no anomaly in registration of the centres, the source said. A State–level body on the lines of National Council for Clinical Establishment will be appointed to monitor medical centres’ registrations and classification into large, medium and small categories. The classification process will also take into account facilities at the centres.

The State government will appoint district–level authorities, to be headed by the district collector as chairman and the district health officer as convenor, to keep a check on the medical centres.

To be registered, and also to ensure registration is renewed, every medical centre must adhere to the following: Centres operating without registration will be penalised Rs 25,000. If any previously penalised centre is still found without valid papers in subsequent checks, its minders will be penalised Rs 5 lakh. Also, staff serving in unregistered establishments will be penalised Rs 25,000.

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