Kerala

State to have a say in healthcare from New Year

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All clinical establishments to be brought under a regulatory umbrella

It could be a defining turn in the State’s health sector when the Kerala Clinical Establishments Act (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2018, comes into force in the State on January 1, 2019, bringing all clinical establishments, private and public, under a regulatory umbrella, ensuring quality, transparency, and accountability in healthcare delivery.

The Act, passed by the State Assembly in February this year, will come into force on January 1. Henceforth, no clinical establishments in the State, under all recognised systems of medicine as well as dental centres, labs and diagnostic centres, can function without the mandatory registration, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja said here on Thursday.

In the initial phase, the focus will be on registering all clinical establishments under modern medicine. The provisional registration will be valid for two years, during which time the institution should achieve the standard specific to its category.

A State council

The government will soon notify the formation of the State Council for Clinical Establishments, which will classify clinical establishments and fix minimum standards for each category. Fourteen District Registration Councils, which are the implementing agencies, will be formed.

The KCEA, while sticking to the core principles of the Central Act of 2010, is a far cry from the original Act which was too regulatory. The KCEA is all about bringing in accountability in healthcare delivery in a State where nearly 70% of the healthcare needs of the people are being met by the private sector, which has remained unregulated till now.

Fears assuaged

Dispelling fears of the private sector that the government would regulate the rates of treatment and procedures, the KCEA only insists that clinical establishments be transparent about the services provided and the rates for various procedures. These have to be displayed openly, so that people can choose between hospitals.

Web portal

The State council will publish a State Register of Clinical Establishments, notify information which are to be mandatorily provided by these institutions, and put it in public domain.

The National Informatics Centre, GoK, has developed the web portal for various aspects of the implementation of the Act and Rules.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 5:52:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/state-to-have-a-say-in-healthcare-from-new-year/article25844317.ece

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