Draft Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 introduced in Rajya Sabha
The Government of India has introduced the Draft Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 (“Bill”) in the Rajya Sabha on 3rd February, 2017 proposing to amend the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 (“Principle Act”).
The Bill will come into force once it is passed by both the Houses of the Parliament followed by the President’s assent. The States Specific Acts which govern Clinical Establishments will also need to be amended within six months of coming into force of the Bill.
This Bill has been drafted to provide a uniform procedure to be adopted by clinical establishments for diagnostic tests, doctor fees, other charges for medical facilities offered by them.
The Government aims to regularly supervise clinical establishments and bills charged by them so that the common people approaching them for treatment of various diseases are not exploited in any manner whatsoever. The existing provisions of the Principle Act are not getting amended or modified by this Bill. This Bill only proposes to insert provisions additional to the existing ones.
Important highlights of the Bill are as follows:
- Diagnostic Tests to be conducted: The Bill states that if any individual comes to a clinical establishment or is brought to them in emergency medical condition, he shall not be subjected to any unnecessary diagnostic tests and diagnostic tests shall only confine to the ones as may be required to assess his clinical condition.
- Generic Medicines to be prescribed: Clinical Establishments shall ensure that medical doctors or practitioners or professionals or specialists working under its control shall prescribe generic medicines to the extent of availability and shall not compel the patients or their attendants to use branded medicines.
- Adherence to prescribed rates of diagnostic tests/ procedures/ surgeries/ treatments: The Central Government shall prescribe maximum rates for various diagnostic tests/ procedures/ surgeries/ treatments that are extended by clinical establishments. The fixing of prices will be based on the classification and standards applicable to that clinical establishment and the local conditions surrounding them. The clinical establishments shall have to follow these prescribed rates, as applicable.
- Display requirements: Clinical establishment shall display a notice board at a prominent place in its premises mentioning the concessions, subsidies, incentives, land at concessional rate, medical equipment obtained by exemption of various taxes or any other benefit it obtained from the Government. Clinical establishments that have availed concessions or benefits from the Government subject to certain conditions, will also have to display those conditions on a notice board in a prominent place in their premises.
- Special requirements for intensive care units or emergency wards: The clinical establishments which offer medical examination or treatment in intensive care units or emergency wards, will have to design the intensive care units or emergency wards, in such a way that the outer wall of one of its side shall be fitted with transparent glass, closed with cloth curtains, so that the attendants of the patient can see the patients, as and when deemed necessary. Clinical Establishments will also have to brief the attendants of these patients twice a day, about the condition of the patient. The briefing has to be video recorded and preserved for a period of ninety days from the date of discharge of the patient from intensive care units or emergency wards or date of death of the patient during treatment in such clinical establishments.