Association wants government to remove at least two clauses in the bill

The Kozhikode branch of Kerala Association of Small Hospitals and Clinics has urged the State government to exempt small hospitals and out-patient (OP) clinics from the Clinical Establishments Bill, which will come up before the Assembly soon.

Association president Sushama Anil told reporters here on Tuesday that small hospitals and OP clinics, with fewer than 20 beds and only a handful of staff members, could not afford to follow the regulations under the Bill. “More than 800 small hospitals and OP clinics have closed down across the State recently. If they are brought under the Clinical Establishments Act, the remaining will also be forced to close down,” she said.

Abdul Khader, the vice chairman (north zone) of the association said that small hospitals and OP clinics did not get any support from the government. “The new doctors are no more interested in opening OP clinics in rural areas due to the discouraging attitude of the government. Even the IRDA has made a decision not to include hospitals with less than 25 beds for empanelment,” he said.

The association wants the government to remove at least two clauses in the bill that could prove fatal for the existence of small hospitals and clinics. “As per the stabilisation clause, a hospital has to ensure that a patient, when referred to a tertiary health care facility during emergency, should reach there alive. If it was possible to keep a patient alive using our limited facilities, why would we refer them to another hospital?” said Dr. Sushama.

Another clause that a doctor should be available for 24 hours was not possible in small hospitals where usually a single doctor runs the show. The clauses related to the minimum area of a hospital, staff pattern, emergency equipment and 24 hours availability of electricity too are harmful for small hospitals, said Dr. Sushama. – The Hindu 



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