Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain has given approval to the health department to finalise the Delhi Health Bill and present it in the Cabinet by next month. The Bill, once implemented, will help regulate pathological labs and clinical establishments in the capital.
The Bill, drafted by a committee, was sent to the Health Secretary for approval. After being finalised, it was sent to the minister for confirmation. “The Minister has given a go-ahead to the Bill, which will be presented in the Cabinet next month. It will replace the need to implement the Clinical Establishment Act 2010 as suggested by the Union Health Ministry,” said Sanjeev Khirwar, Health Secretary, Delhi government.
The committee, in its draft, also defined emergency care services for all hospitals and nursing homes. With the enforcement of the Act, it will be mandatory for nursing homes and hospitals to stabilise the condition of patients who need critical care before referring them to another hospital. Single doctor clinics have been left out of the proposed Act.
What Bill may replace
Implementation of Delhi Health Bill will replace the need to have Clinical Establishment Act, 2010, enacted by the Centre to ensure registration, regulation of all clinical establishments in India. That Act has taken effect in four states — Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim — and all Union Territories except NCT of Delhi since March 1, 2012. As per the Act, every clinical establishment relating to diagnosis or treatment of diseases shall comply with the minimum standards of facilities and services.
Last month, the Delhi High Court had pulled up the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government for not taking any steps to regulate pathological labs and clinics in the capital. While the Supreme Court had said that only postgraduate degree holders in pathology could sign medical test reports, there are no checks on labs functioning in Delhi.
“We are conducting surveys to find out the number of such labs operating in the capital. The Chief District Medical Officer in every district is conducting it. Once the survey is done, we will advise labs to get themselves accredited from NABL, at least at the entry level,” said Khirwar.
According to sources, the Bill will also lay down guidelines for compulsory registration of IVF centres, dental clinics and certain facilities in eyecare centres. As per the draft report, while there is a separate body for registration of a dentist in the capital, there are no regulations for setting up a dental clinic.