TAMIL NADU

Focus on providing quality healthcare

: After concentrating on ensuring medical treatment to all persons through its hospitals for the past several years, the health department is now focusing on offering quality healthcare through its institutions and hospitals associated with its insurance scheme.

At a meeting held on Wednesday, representatives from 700 private hospitals, officials involved in the insurance scheme and World Bank officials discussed ways to improve the quality of treatment offered under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme. So far, the scheme had benefited seven lakh persons at a cost of Rs. 1,500 crore. Under the scheme, the government has earned Rs. 500 crore.

An official of the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project, which had organised the meeting said: “We have 700 small and medium-size private hospitals empanelled with us to provide treatment under the insurance scheme. These hospitals with bed strength of around 30 to 50 and 10 to 20 doctors each depend on our support and therefore the government has a right to demand quality.”

The official said, the government would stipulate minimum standards for a hospital to remain empanelled. “The hospitals will have to toe the line as 40 to 50 per cent of their income in the middle and smaller hospitals is due to being part of the insurance scheme,” the official added.

This is part of the process of helping these smaller hospitals also get accreditation.

On its part, the department had sought to break down the criteria into three parts. The National Board of Accreditation for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) had been approached to divide the criteria into three levels: entry, progression and final stage. The advantage is that hospital administrations would have achievable goals and the process of achieving the accreditation will also be faster. This will motivate government and private hospitals to improve quality, TNHSP officials say.

According to health department officials the government hospitals in Aruppukottai and Manapparai were in the final stages of achieving accreditation.

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