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Policy Matters

New rules to govern state hospitals

RANCHI: The deadly fire at AMRI, Kolkata, that devoured 91 patients last Friday, has woken up the state government from its slumber finally. It’s now trying to put together an act that will govern private nursing homes and hospitals. As of now, the act that governs the setting up of shops in Jharkhand, also governs hospitals.

Sources in the health department said work has started for the enactment of the statute that will formulate rules for the setting up and functioning of private clinics and hospitals.

All medical establishments, including allopathy, ayurveda, unani and homeopathy, will be covered by the act.

“Once the act is in place, all private medical establishments, from clinics to hospitals, will have to ensure clean and hygienic surroundings, proper lighting, ventilation, hygienic sanitation, proper maintenance of medical records, standard bio-medical waste disposal system, accessibility to attending doctors and qualified staff. It will cover fire safety as well,” said a source, adding that once the act is in place they will also be in a position to take stern action against those who violate the rules.

The hospitals will also have to appoint doctors and paramedical staff in proportion to the number of patients treated per day.

Former national vice-president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Ajay Kumar Singh, expressed dismay at the lackadaisical approach of the state government.

“Years have gone by since Jharkhand was formed, but the state government has failed to enact any rules. Even the Bihar government has an act for the establishment of clinics and hospitals to protect patients. It is high time Jharkhand had a separate act,” said Singh.

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