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Updated: January 25, 2013 04:43 IST

NABH accreditation not a priority for hospitals

Special Correspondent
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The Hindu

Only 18 hospitals in the State have the board’s recognition

Although Karnataka is renowned the world over as a medical tourism hub, only 18 hospitals in the State are recognised by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH).

NABH accreditation is a public recognition of the achievement of accreditation standards by a healthcare organisation. It is awarded following an independent external peer assessment of that organisation’s level of performance in patient safety and related standards.

Although 15 of the 18 hospitals are from the city, it is unfortunate that there is not much awareness about NABH accreditation here, said K.K. Kalra, Chief Executive Officer, NABH.

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the Karnataka Health Summit, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the city, Mr. Kalra said: “Although some hospitals from Bangalore were the first ones to get accredited after the NABH was formed in 2005, awareness about accreditation here is still low. There are hundreds of hospitals in Bangalore and each one of them should have the responsibility for quality patient care. We want more hospitals to come forward and get accredited,” Mr. Kalra said.

In fact, only 173 hospitals across the country (including 18 small healthcare organisations) have got NABH recognition, and 521 are in the process of getting accreditation. This is only a fraction of the total number of hospitals in the country, he said.

Giving details, he said 49 blood banks, two dental hospitals and six Ayush hospitals have got the NABH accreditation so far in the country.

Explaining the importance of accreditation, Mr. Kalra said it is a model of external evaluation used by healthcare entities across the world to regulate, improve and promote quality healthcare services. “Quality health systems lead to patient safety and public satisfaction,” he said, adding that the NABH had a local assessor in Bangalore to coordinate with hospitals.

The summit included sessions on ‘Healthcare investment opportunities in Karnataka’ by M. Maheshwar Rao, Commissioner of Industrial Development, and ‘Primary Healthcare’ by Santanu Chattopadhyay of the Nationwide Primary Healthcare Services. Presentations on infrastructure availability of healthcare manpower and current healthcare ecosystem in India were also part of the summit.

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