Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said in the Lok Sabha on Thursday that the private sector played an important role in providing basic healthcare services.

Replying to a calling attention motion by Gurudas Dasgupta of the Communist Party of India on the situation arising out of high cost of health services and the need to evolve laws to regulate private nursing homes, Dr. Ramadoss said private investment in the health sector was made primarily on market considerations, except those by charitable and philanthropic organisations.

On regulating private health institutions to provide accessibility and affordable and quality healthcare, he said the government introduced the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Bill, 2007.

After enactment, legislation would initially apply to Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Mizoram and all Union Territories.

It is hoped that after the Bill gets enacted, all other States would adopt it.

Some States already have their own laws to regulate clinical establishments, Dr. Ramadoss said.

As mandated under the National Common Minimum Programme, healthcare was one of the thrust areas, wherein it was proposed to increase the expenditure from 0.9 per cent of the GDPto 2-3 per cent over the next five years.