Protecting the rights of patients: Inputs Sought

Most states in India have failed to adopt or implement the Clinical Establishments Bill. As the next Government takes charge, we strongly believe that work is initiated on empowering the patients and driving fairness in the healthcare sector. In late 2017, West Bengal Government passed a Clinical Establishments Bill 2017 aimed at making the private healthcare segment more transparent and regulate arbitrary billing.

Below are the highlights of the bill and we would like to seek your inputs on how the next Government should atleast get those states where it is in power to adopt such a bill. It will make healthcare citizen oriented in the country.

Below are the highlights of the bill:

Licenses can be revoked in case a medical institution refuses to provide preliminary medical aid to victims of a road accident, sudden calamities, rape and acid attack notwithstanding their financial condition

No person can be denied life-saving medical treatment irrespective of one's financial condition. However, the medical institution can later recover the charges

Private hospitals and nursing homes will also risk paying a compensation of up to Rs 10 lakh for negligence on its part if it results in the patient's death.

Hospitals have been mandated to release the dead body of patients even if the next of the kin is not able to settle the outstanding dues. However, the hospital can recover dues later

Every clinical establishment has to strictly follow the fixed rates and charges including package rates for investigation, bed charges, operation theatre procedures, intensive care, ventilation, implants, consultation and similar tests and procedures, and any additional treatment or procedure shall not attract additional charge. Repetitive laboratory tests are strictly discouraged

The Bill has mandated all private hospitals, which have been set up on government land or enjoys other facility, to compulsorily provide free treatment to 20 per cent outdoor patients and 10 per cent indoor patients as part of their corporate social responsibility

Bill also asks hospitals having more than 100 beds to set up fair price medicine shops and diagnostic centres

As many as 24 conditions, resulting in a cancellation of licenses, have been listed in the Bill

The government is going to set up a regulatory commission, which has the power to cancel licenses and impose a penalty of up to Rs 50 lakh, headed by either a high court Judge or chief secretary of the state. The commission will regulate and monitor the enforcement of the conditions listed in the Bill. more  

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When a patient enters the Doctors room for examination about his ailment, he has every right to know what his disease is, what treatment the doctor is proposed todo, and what will the approximate cost. In case any surgery is likely to be done, the surgeon must inform the patient about the need of surgery, the cost of surgery, whether the patient is going to bear the cost by himself or whether any insurance the patient is having, the duration of the surgery, and success percentage of the surgery. etc clearly without any ambiguity. these are basic rights. Moreover, the patient shoud not be charged any fees without his knowledge in hidden manner in the form of repleshing the surgery needed items/medicines etc. This is also his basic right to know. more  
Please first publish and circulate widely the rates for comparable surgeries and investigations at various government hospitals. The rates at say AIIMS or Safdarjung or PGI Chandigarh should also be known/available on their websites. This will enable patients/attendants to take an informed decision about which hospital to go to. Yes, it is difficult to visualise all contingencies, but at least some sort o a reference point will be available. Too many rules/regulations will only go towards encouraging corruption.
On the other hand when a nursing home/hospital is treated on par with any other commercial establishment, is it reasonable to expect them to work on no loss no profit basis?
Col (Dr) A P Gupta (Retd) more  
Patients are robbed by corporate Hospitals so some rules , Audit and inspection to regulate them to be started more  
Govt. should allow doctors to perform small operations in their own approved OTs if hospitals are regulated in this manner....now nearly 30 approvals are required to run one nursing home which has becomes a deadly burden....it also helps only big hospitals to survive....opinion should be taken from the best doctors in the country....rural healthcare is another boiling issue and govt. doctors don't get extra benefit for rural posting more  
First Provide Health care for all .
* All Government H.Q. Hospitals should have all the investigative facilities from Scans to the x-ray and lab investigation facilities . No patient should be sent to Private Hospital or Investigating facilities . Normal case in Government hospitals is that , Machine or facility is not there or is under repair , no spares ,no films , no printer and so on .

* Like wise the H.Q.Hospitals should have all the Specialists on full time or at least on part time basis . When in part time basis should be available on definite days and definite time .

* Like wise Medicines should also be available . As the major portion of the budget is utilized for medicines that are pushed by Pharma companies , availability of Essential and rare medicines take a beating .

* ALL GOVERNMENT DOCTORS SHOULD BE AVAILABLE DURING THEIR DUTY HOURS . ABSENTEEISM SHOULDN'T BE TOLERATED. more  
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