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Delhi govt to bring major changes in Clinical Establishment Act before adopting it in state

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Friday, April 17, 2015, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The health minister of the Delhi government has assured the medical community in his jurisdiction that only a doctor-friendly bill would be introduced in the assembly in lieu of the present Clinical Establishment Act Bill.

Satyendra Kumar Jain, the health minister,  assured a group of doctors who visited him on April 15 that his ministry would not in any way hurry up to implement the CE Act in the present form as the minister himself felt it would embarrass the medical community and healthcare establishments in a big way. He promised them that the government would not force the healthcare establishments to implement the Clinical Establishment Act without amending in accordance with their suggestions.

The group of doctors representing various healthcare institutions and single doctor clinics had a detailed discussion with the minister on the CEA. The minister asked the doctor-group to submit their suggestions so as to enable him to think of how to adopt the Act.

Satyendra Jain has categorically said the solo clinics (single doctor establishments) will not be subjected to the unreasonable clauses of the Bill.

Last month, an association of doctors and private hospitals in Delhi in conjunction with private medical practitioners association in Kerala filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court to legally challenge the introduction of the CE Act in its present form. Their argument is that the clinical establishment act is unnecessarily attempting to legislate on medical professional matters and there is inconsistency between the preamble of the Act and its stated objects. Hence, the medical professionals in the country are deeply concerned about certain undesirable features of the Act.

In view of this, the minister informed the medical professionals that his ministry would not in any way disturb the healthcare managers with this Act and the unreasonable clauses will be deleted from the present bill. He said before implementing the Act the government may think of categorizing the healthcare establishments into four groups, such as single-doctor clinics, nursing homes upto a bed strength of 50 numbers, nursing homes from a strength of 50 beds to 100 and corporate hospitals.

Another promise the medical community got from the minister is that the government of Delhi will not fix charges for the clinical or laboratory or scan and X-ray unit services. This can be decided by the medical establishments. However, the health minister wanted the doctors community to follow ethical practices in their working and informed them that he would be liable to take legal action against those who resort to unprincipled ways of practising.

Sources in the doctors’ group who visited the health minister said the government of Punjab has also decided not to implement the CEA Bill in the present form in the assembly by maintaining that a doctor-friendly bill is required in place.


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