Government of West Bengal issues the West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Bill, 2017
The Law Department, of the Government of West Bengal has issued the West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Bill, 2017 (“Bill”) on 1st March 2017, which has been recently passed by the State Legislature.
The Bill proposes to repeal the West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 (“Act”) and aims at bringing transparency, ending harassment of patients and checking medical negligence in private hospitals and nursing homes.
The Bill defines “clinical establishment” means the whole or part of institution, facility with or without bed or beds, building or premises of any Hospital, Maternity Home, Nursing Home, Dispensary, Clinic, Polyclinic, Immunization or Vaccination Centre, Sanatorium, Physical Therapy Establishment, Clinical Laboratory, Fertility Regulation Clinic, Wellness Clinic or an establishment analogous to any of them by whatever name called, used or intended to be used for the health care related services established and administered or maintained by any person or body of persons, whether incorporated or not; and shall include—
(i) a clinical establishment for profit or not for profit, owned, controlled or managed by,—
(a) a trust, whether public or private;
(b) a Corporation (including a co-operative society), not owned by the Government, registered under a Central Act, or State Act; and
(ii) a single doctor establishment or medical clinic.
Explanation.—”medical clinic” shall mean a place used or intended to be used for consultation and treatment by a registered medical practitioner but shall not include any place utilised by a registered Medical Practitioner solely for the purpose of consultation and advice, which shall have to be displayed as ‘Medical Consultation Clinic.
Thereby, extending its ambit to Polyclinics, Immunization or Vaccination Centre, Physical Therapy Establishment, Fertility Regulation Clinic and Wellness Clinic.
Following are the highlights of the Bill:
- A License to operate a Clinical Establishment will not be granted to an applicant by the licensing authority unless the applicant and the clinical establishment conforms to the minimum standards of accommodation, has appropriate arrangements for disposal of bio-medical wastes as may be prescribed, etc.
- As per the Bill, a license granted to a Clinical Establishments is proposed to be subjected to the fulfillment of certain conditions, as listed below:
- Every case of a victim of accident and injury or trauma received or accommodated or both in the Clinical Establishment needs to be reported to the nearest police station, after providing immediate medical treatment.
- Every Clinical Establishment is required to provide necessary medical treatment to victims of accidents, persons suffering from sudden calamities, acid attacks and rape victims, without taking into consideration the ability of the patient to pay the costs.
- Every Clinical Establishment is mandated to maintain a Public grievance Cell for lodging of any complaints regarding treatment, improper billing or other issues. Also, a Help Desk is required to be maintained to ensure regular and proper communications with the service recipients.
- Every clinical establishment is required to strictly follow the fixed rates and charges including the Package Rates for investigation, bed charges, operation theatre procedures, Intensive Care, ventilation, implants, consultation and similar tests and procedures, and any additional treatment or procedure shall not attract additional charges over and above such fixed rates and charges including the Package Rates.
- Under the Bill, private hospitals are required to pay compensations in case of medical negligence. Clinical Establishments are proposed to a fine of Rs. 10 lakh or more, on contravention of any of the provisions.
- The Bill proposes to establish West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission to monitor activities of the Clinical Establishments. The high-powered commission will be headed by sitting or former judge. It will have status of a civil court. It will be empowered to summon both parties in case of a dispute and examine case before passing an order.
- Every Clinical establishment having more than 100 beds are required to start fair price medicine shops under the Bill. They are also required to declare bed charges, ICU charges and package costs which can’t be altered.
- Under the Bill, every clinical establishment is required to strictly discourage repetitive laboratory tests for any service recipient, unless essential.
- Clinical Establishments, which have received land or other facility from the Government during initiation and in course of continuance of their projects are required to provide completely free treatment to 20 percent of Outdoor Patient Department patients and 10 percent of Indoor Patient Department patients, in cases of Clinical Establishments owned and managed by corporate entities that have not availed such benefits are encouraged to provide completely free treatment to 20 percent of Outdoor Patient Department patients and 10 percent of Indoor Patient Department patients as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.
- Penal Measures under the Bill ranges between compensation and cancellation of license of the license granted which also includesimprisonment up to 3 years.
Please refer to the attached document for a further read.
Source: Law Department, Government of West Bengal. (Attached)