Officials of the Department of Health and Family Welfare here face some amount of opposition mainly stemming from ignorance to the implementation of the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act 2007.

The Act, which came into effect on November 10, 2009, mandates that all private medical practitioners register with the Government. It spells out the infrastructure requirements, the qualification of staff, and procedures to be followed by private nursing homes, clinics, health centres and hospitals. The Act applies to allopathy, ayurveda, Unani, Sidda, homeopathy and yoga practitioners.

District Health Officer O. Shrirangappa told The Hindu that until now, 1,422 establishments had applied for registration before the October 24 deadline, and since then 363 of these have been inspected by a team comprising district health officials, a representative of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the District Surgeon. Details of the inspection had been sent to the Deputy Commissioner, who is the final authority on granting approval.

The objective is to check the activities of quacks, Dr. Shrirangappa said. “Often, an ayurvedic doctor is found to be acting as the duty doctor in an allopathic hospital. The Act requires establishments to provide details of qualifications of their staff,” he said .

IMA Dakshina Kannada vice-president Annayya Kulal said that many people invested lakhs of rupees in pursuing medical education, which was not matched by remuneration that they got as doctors or consultants in hospitals, resulting in hospitals using this step as a means to cut costs. He said that this practice was prevalent across the country.

He said the rules on the disposal of biomedical waste according to the Act might prove to be contentious as it mandated that all medical establishments obtain the necessary permission to dispose of biomedical waste.

However, a large number of medical establishments do not generate such waste as they only offer consulting services.

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