The health department has issued show-cause notices to about 6,700 nursing homes across Maharashtra for failing to adhere to prevailing rules and regulations, including those on fire safety and disposal of bio-medical waste. Many of them have even been ordered to be shut down after they were found to be operating without registering themselves under the Bombay Nursing Home Registration Act.
More than 1,100 nursing homes and clinics in Pune, Satara and Solapur are among those that have been issued notices. These establishments were found to be in violation of the Bombay Nursing Home Registration Act, Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and other government rules. These notices have been slapped on 791 establishments in Pune alone.
Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, deputy director of Pune circle that includes Pune, Solapur and Satara, said 665 establishments in Pune rural areas were found to be in violation of various rules. Another 20 in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) area and 106 in Pimpri Chinchwad have also been issued notices.”
“In Satara, 676 clinical establishments have been asked to explain, while in Solapur, 140 have been issued show-cause notices,” said Deshmukh.
In March this year, the Bombay High Court, taking note of the Sangli abortion racket, had directed the state health authorities to conduct random checks to find out whether nursing homes had proper licences. The order had come in the wake of the death of 26-year-old Swati Jamdade from Mhaisal village in Sangli in a botched-up illegal abortion performed at homeopath Babasaheb Khidrapue’s Bharati hospital.
A state-wide survey had been launched following that incident. “We surveyed as many as 35,000 clinical establishments out of which 6,700 were identified as those that did not follow the rules laid down under the act. Various parameters were assessed while conducting this survey — whether clinics conformed to rules under the Bombay Nursing Home Registration Act, Pre-Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and others. Health officials also assessed whether fire safety norms were being followed,” said Dr Archana Patil, Additional Director, State Family Welfare Bureau.
“First Information Reports (FIRs) have been filed against 18 bogus doctors and action has been taken against such clinical establishments that have not been registered under the Act. We have also sealed two sonography machines,” Patil said.
Health officials said that among the main reasons for these clinics/nursing homes not having registered themselves were changes in the bio-medical waste regulations made in 2016 and the fire safety norms in 2012-13. The findings of the survey have been given to the collector of each district and a committee has been appointed to decide on the action to be taken. “It will take another two months to decide on the action. However, till then, notices have been issued to 6,700 clinical establishments across the state,” Patil said.