In the wake of the Hepatitis B outbreak in Modasa and elsewhere in the state,the Gujarat government on Friday announced to introduce an ordinance within 15 days to bring private medical practitioners and their premises under a regulatory mechanism.
State Health Minister Jaynarayan Vyas told the state Assembly that the ordinance and subsequently,an Act,will also have measures to deter any abuse,assault or misbehaviour by any patient or their relatives towards medical practitioners.
With this,Gujarat will become the first state in the country to have such a regulatory mechanism,Vyas added. Explaining the need for having such a mechanism,he said: Without any legal obligations and no punitive measures of dereliction,the medical practitioners use substandard facilities and equipments. Also,there was no regulation on the infrastructure and material used for administering treatment.
Other provisions of the ordinance will include mandatory provision for medical practitioners to maintain proper record of their patients along with their contact details,maintaining details like the nature of disease,diagnoses,treatment prescribed and brief medical history along with medical reports. It will also mention an obligation for the medical service provider to take all necessary safeguards to prevent any infection or detrimental effect to medical or paramedical staff working in private hospitals.
Meanwhile,the health officials across the state have swung into action and are busy conducting inspections on private medical practitioners and their process of disposing bio medical waste. Medical waste,including used syringes,has to be disposed of according to the Bio-Medical Waste (management and handling) Rules 1998. The Hepatitis B virus now raging in the Sabarkantha district is blamed on infected syringes.
The district authorities on Wednesday filed cases against five doctors,one compounder and two scrape dealers at Modasa. All have been booked under sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 278 (making atmosphere noxious to health) of the Indian Penal Code. The five doctors had surrendered before the police and are now out on bail. Similar raids were conducted in Ahmedabad on Thursday and huge piles of bio-medical waste were recovered from five godowns,which were later sealed. The health officials are also inspecting premises of private hospitals in Ahmedabad and nearby areas.