Kerala

Public health Bill referred to select committee

The Assembly on Wednesday referred the Kerala Public Health Bill, 2021 to a 15-member select committee chaired by the Health and Family Welfare Minister.

Two other Bills taken up for discussion on the day, the Kerala State Medical Practitioners Bill, 2021 and the Kerala Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2021 were referred to the Health Subject Committee after discussion.

Replying to the discussions on the Public Health Bill, Health Minister Veena George said the State needed a comprehensive Act for checking the spread of communicable diseases and for the department to make effective and coordinated interventions, including legal measures as necessary. For this, the department needed statutory powers.

It was in this context that the Government envisaged a new Public Health Act, by combining the provisions in the Madras Public Health Act, 1939 and the Travancore-Cochin Public Health Act, 1955.

She said the Government was considering the implementation of various cadres – medical, public health, specialty and super-specialty – depending on the qualification and experience of doctors in service.

Through the Kerala State Medical Practitioners Bill, 2021, the Government proposed to enact a legislation for the registration of practitioners in the field of Modern Medicine, Indian Systems of Medicine, and Homoeopathic Medicine in the State and regulate the qualifications required for such registration by unifying the Travancore-Cochin Medical Practitioners Act, 1953 and the Madras Medical Registration Act, 1914 applicable to the Malabar region.

The Kerala Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2021 was being proposed so as to extend the validity of the provisional registration of clinical establishments from two years to three years from the date of issuance of the certificate of registration.

Ms. George said the validity of the provisional registration period had to be extended as due to COVID-19 pandemic, many clinical establishments could not complete the registration processes.

She, however, warned that this registration process cannot be extended interminably and that a cut-off date would be set after discussions.

In her reply, she also touched upon the State’s COVID fight and its strategy of delaying the peak. She said that the State’s COVID data were scientific and transparent.

She added that the high prevalence of non-communicable diseases in the State was one reason why COVID could turn out to be a serious disease. Hence, the State would soon launch a people’s campaign for tackling NCDs, wherein every person above 30 years would be subjected to routine check-ups and followed up for care.


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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 6:24:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/public-health-bill-referred-to-select-committee/article37199149.ece

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